Cops: Restaurant owner shoots at customers
Shots fired outside Winter Park restaurant over bill dispute
Police arrested the owner of an upscale Winter Park restaurant who they say shot at his own customers over a bill.
A single bullet hole in the trunk of the customer's car shows how a fight over a bill turned violent Sunday night.
The incident began when James Marshall Phillips and Destin McMahon argued with the manager and owner at Wazzabi Japanese Steakhouse and Sushi Bar, near Winter Park Village.
The customers said they weren't happy with the food and while one paid, the other did not, saying he wouldn't pay for what he didn't eat.
"I never expected that I would receive that type of treatment because I complained about a meal -- that my life would be put in danger," said Phillips. "They begin harassing us and cussing at us and telling us to leave their restaurant and when we got in the car to leave, they began beating the car and then they shot at the car."
They said the owner and workers chased them into the parking lot, refused to let them leave, beat dents into the car, and finally fired two shots at them.
Police arrested the owner, Quoc Trong Tran, on charges of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon without intent to kill. Another employee, Hoai Trong Tran, was arrested on a charge of criminal mischief.
People nearby saw cops swarm the area, and still can't believe what happened.
"It's pretty excessive," said Anthony Dessipris, who works next door. "(The owner) should have just called the cops."
"My uncle, the owner of that restaurant, was just protecting his property and making sure nobody was just coming in, getting free sushi, complaining about it, walking out," said Randall Tran.
The owner told police he only opened fire because he thought his customers were trying to run him over.
The customers were not charged with any crime and police say the bill was less than $20.
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