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Baltimore restaurant dispute spurs conflicting assault complaints

One Maryland family's dining experience concluded like no one could have predicted. A simple complaint over the dining experience at a Baltimore restaurant led to an argument that reportedly escalated to a physical altercation. Police responded, but the two men involved in the alleged incident have filed opposing assault charges against each other.

Although stories provided by each of the men differ, all accounts indicate that a restaurant patron clearly wasn't enjoying his experience. After speaking with the restaurant's manager and co-owner about slow service, the restaurant's head chef, who is also co-owner, intervened and told the man to leave.

At this point, the stories diverge. The patron and his family say that the chef attacked, but the chef and his wife say that's untrue. Despite these conflicting accounts, patrons have indicated that the chef had the patron in a headlock.

In situations such as this, it's not uncommon for otherwise level-headed people to temporarily lose their cool and act entirely out of character. A momentary loss of better judgment in the wake of a misunderstanding can lead to serious legal consequences, which is something that could be a reality in this case.

As the case moves forward and into criminal court, it will be important for the investigation to clear up the critical details of the case. Because a number of the witnesses, including the family members of both men involved in this case, were likely caught up in the emotion of the incident, it may be best to interview a variety of neutral observers who were in the restaurant. By doing so, the hope is that the case can be resolved in a positive manner.

Source: The Baltimore Sun, "Chef and patron both file assault charges after altercation," Richard Gorelick, March 21, 2013

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