Texas Roadhouse brawl could have been racially charged, police report

Freddie Lee Phillips, 22, charged with aggravated battery, child abuse

By Tess Sheets, Florida Today
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BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. - A 12-person quarrel on the porch of a restaurant Thursday that may have been sparked by racial slurs, resulted in several charges against an employee, according to Melbourne police. 

Freddie Lee Phillips, 22, of Cape Canaveral, who works as a busboy at Texas Roadhouse on East Eau Gallie Boulevard, was taken into custody after police said he struck a customer twice with a bin full of dishes, punched the customer in the face and inadvertently caused a ceramic dish to strike a 6-year-old child on the head, News 6 partner FLORIDA TODAY reported.

According to police reports, Phillips is accused of splashing dishwater on a customer as he "aggressively" stacked plates in a bin. An altercation escalated after the customer asked Phillips to stop, police said. Phillips is accused of punching the customer, as well as a man who tried to break up the fight.

Police said a restaurant employee reported hearing the customer say a racial slur to Phillips, and that's when Phillips launched his bin full of dirty dishes toward the customer. But Phillips didn't mention hearing a racial slur when talking to police, according to the report.

The customer struck Phillips after that, according to the police report, and customers around them intervened as they tried to stop the fight.

A woman told police she became caught in the middle of the altercation and was struck in the face. She sustained minor injuries, police reported. 

Phillips told police he hit the customer with a bin full of dishes, but it was after the customer threw a "liquid kicker"— a small tube of alcohol— at him. 

The customer sustained minor injuries, according to police, but a child who was struck in the side of the head with a dish fragment required staples. 

Phillips was arrested on an array of felony and misdemeanor charges, including aggravated battery, battery, child abuse, battery of a law enforcement officer, resisting with violence, resisting without violence, violation of probation and disorderly conduct. 

Phillips was on probation after being charged with criminal mischief in April.

He is being held on a $34,000.00 bond. 

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