The standoff between Cha Cha’s Coney Island Seafood Bar and Pizzeria and the encampment of homeless people at the Shore Hotel next door has erupted into violence three times in the past week, employees claim.
Bartender Felix Miller said he was leaving work at the watering hole on Surf Avenue between Stillwell Avenue and W. 15th Street around midnight on July 14 when he saw a derelict beating a homeless woman under the Shore Theater scaffolding. Miller told the man to stop — and ended up getting assaulted himself.
“The guy just turned and punched me in the face,” said Miller.
The barkeep said he and the vagrant wrestled in the street until cops arrived and separated them.
Bar owner John “Cha Cha” Ciarcia said a homeless person also attacked one of his customers on July 18, and his manager, Dee Dee Mancuso, said she was injured when a group of six vagrants attempted to force their way into the bar on July 20, following a confrontation between an employee and a homeless person.
Mancuso said her worker was smoking outside when the homeless woman surprised him by putting her hands on his face. The worker pushed the woman away and she fell over, enraging several of the vagabonds who lined up menacingly along Cha Cha’s open storefront.
“It was insane, they were trying to get inside,” said Mancuso.
Mancuso said she and her workers managed to keep the men at bay, but she was socked in the face in the fray, resulting in visible swelling. However, she said she wouldn’t press charges.
“What’s the point? The guy will be in jail overnight, and back out here tomorrow,” she said.
Miller called for Shore Theater owner Horace Bullard to pay for security to boot the homeless away from the Shore Theater.
“He should have a guy walking back and forth here at all times to keep them away,” he said.
The police didn’t respond to calls, although a cop was posted at the corner of Surf and Stillwell avenues under the scaffold on Friday — after the attacks took place.