Police: Winter Park restaurant owner, chef attack customers

Published On: Oct 17 2012 03:45:45 AM HST

Winter Park restaurant Wazzabi is open for lunch as usual Tuesday despite the fact that the restaurant's owner and one of his chefs were arrested for attacking two disgruntled customers after they refused to pay for a meal, police said.

Wazzabi's owner, 55-year-old Quoc Tran, was charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon after being accused of firing on two male customers about 10 p.m. Sunday after they tried to leave the restaurant without paying for a meal one of the men was unhappy about, according to authorities.

The cook, 37-year-old Hoai Tran, was also charged with criminal mischief after police said he beat and kicked the car carrying the customers, Marshall Phillips and Destin McMahon.

The victims said the violence was way over the top considering it was a simple dispute over the cost of a single meal.

McMahon and Phillips are musicians who met for a business dinner at the restaurant. They said McMahon's meal was inedible so he sent it back.

"When he started yelling at us, he made a huge scene. It was very intimidating, you know," said Phillips.

The men said the restaurant manager not only refused to take the meal off the check, but lost his temper when McMahon refused to pay for it.

Phillips did pay for his meal, and they said it was only McMahon's meal, the one they sent back, that they refused to pay for.

The men decided to leave and said that's when Quoc Tran and Hoai Tran chased them into parking lot and begin beating on their car, according to police.

"They surrounded us, made multiple scuff marks along the way and started pounding. (I've) got this huge dent right here," said McMahon.

McMahon and Phillips managed to get in the car and drive off and said that's when Quoc Tran fired off one or possibly two bullets striking Phillips Volvo in the bumper.

"Our life was clearly in danger here, ya know. Two shots, that's intent. I can only assume that man wanted my life," said McMahon.

An employee said the owner does want to tell his side of the story but needs to speak to his lawyer first.

Police recovered a revolver with two spent shell casings from Quoc Tran.

According to authorities, both the owner and cook claimed that they were trying to stop the two men from leaving so they could wait for police and resolve the dispute.

Both of the suspects have bonded out of jail.

McMahon and Phillips are upset that the restaurant owner is not being charged with attempted murder and are considering getting an attorney to possibly pursue a civil suit.

No one was hurt in the incident.


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