Police busted a man suspected in a bizarre assault on employees at a Columbia Street Waterfront District Thai restaurant on Saturday, in which he allegedly raved that workers were staring at him before going berserk, authorities confirmed.
“It was scary,” said Nana Dirounian, a waitress at the Thai eatery on the corner of Columbia and Kane streets.
Dirounian said that she and three other employees took a meal break around 4:20 pm, when a 63-year-old man walked into the restaurant exhibiting strange behavior.
“He was acting weird, smiling by himself,” Dirounian said. “He didn’t even look at the menu.”
The suspect, a Brooklyn Heights resident, sat down without ordering and stared at the employees, shouting “Why are you staring at me?” when workers happened to glance at him, Dirounian claimed.
After a ten-minute standoff, the man allegedly said, “If you’re going to f— with me, I’ll f— with you,” and approached the workers, prompting the only male employee to stand up. The customer put his hands around the worker’s neck, tried to push him to the ground, and threw objects throughout the store, breaking a flower pot, according to Dirounian.
When another worker called the police, the man promptly changed his tune and apologized for his behavior, Dirounian said.
“He said ‘I’m sorry,’ and tried to take my friend’s hand,” she said. The workers allegedly told the repentant attacker to wait for the police and he complied.
Cops arrived at around 4:45 pm and cuffed the suspect, charging him with assault and criminal mischief, police spokesman Detective Hubert Reyes confirmed.
Luckily, the victim, who Dirounian described as a “trained Thai boxer,” didn’t suffer any serious injuries from the fight, but she worries that she and the other employees could be in danger if the violent customer returns.
“If my friend who’s a guy isn’t there, what do we do?” she asked.