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Man faces charges after fight at The Commander Restaurant in Munster, records allege

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The Commander

The Commander Restaurant in Munster is located near the intersection of Calumet Avenue and Ridge Road.

MUNSTER — A man faces charges stemming from a brawl at The Commander Restaurant in Munster that was sparked by a food order compliant, court records state.

George White, 52, was charged with attempted battery by means of a deadly weapon and criminal recklessness, according to the Superior Court of Lake County.

The charges stem from an incident in November at The Commander Restaurant at 745 Ridge Road in Munster.

At 4:14 pm. Nov. 8 Munster officers were called to the restaurant for a reported physical disturbance, according to court records.

Upon arrival, an officer saw White and two women walking quickly to their vehicle in the parking lot and approached them. The officer then noticed that the younger woman had a bloody lip.

The woman told police she was at the restaurant with her father and mother when the waitress allegedly kept “messing up” her father’s order. After multiple attempts to get the order correct, a manager approached the group saying they must pay for their food and leave, she said.

The woman claimed that an argument erupted and the employee allegedly hit her and she defended herself.

When another officer entered the restaurant, he saw an employee with blood on his face, arms and hands. The employee, who is a manager at the establishment, said White attacked him with a black knife. The officer later searched White and found an 8-inch-long black knife in the man’s jacket pocket.

Another customer sitting near the skirmish alleged that she saw White and the employee being separated multiple times but they “kept going back after each other.” She said she then saw White pull out a knife with his right hand, reach forward with it and lunge at the employee, court records state. In turn the employee ran away from White and other people at the restaurant yelled, “He has a knife.”

A customer at the counter bar told police he overheard White swearing and arguing with the male employee about the food service. He also said he saw White punch the employee and pull an object out of his pocket before making a slicing motion toward the man.

The manager said he had approached White and his family’s table because the waitress was having issues with them due to White’s displeasure with his food order. He said he recognized the family from other past incidents at the restaurant.

An argument began and White stood up and his daughter got between them, making physical contact with the manager. The manager then said he pushed her away from him, but then the daughter started punching and pushing him, court reports alleged.

The manager then said he pulled away from the woman and confronted White again, who subsequently punched him in the face. The manager then tried going after White, but others held him back.

He claimed that White and his daughter punched him numerous times and after the altercation White tried to attack him with a knife, but he was not cut. The waitress serving the family said she also saw White throw a spray bottle at the manager.

After speaking with witnesses, police watched video surveillance footage from within the restaurant. The video shows White, his family and the manager near the pie display when the skirmish began.

The manager and White were seen in the video arguing when the daughter stepped between the two men, putting her left hand on the manager’s chest. The manager then pushed her left shoulder, and she was seen turning toward him, shoving and punching him.

Next, the video shows White physically attacking the manager while his wife tries to pull him away, court reports said. The manager then walked around a booth to directly face White and both women got between the two men.

White then tried to punch the manager in the face and the manager lunged at White, grabbing him with his other hand cocked back in a fist. The daughter is seen next grabbing the manager. Next the father and daughter are seen punching the manager in the video.

The fight is broken up by employees and customers until the manger “goes after” White again, picking the man up and slamming him to the ground, court reports said. White was seen next getting up and throwing an object at the manager, who walks toward him again. An employee gets between the men and White is seen advancing toward the manager.

He is then seen removing an object from his pocket and makes a flipping motion, before lunging at the manager, who ran away, the video surveillance showed.

Recent arrests booked into Lake County Jail

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Night Crime/Breaking News Reporter

Anna Ortiz is the breaking news/crime reporter for The Times, covering crime, politics, courts and investigative news. She is a graduate of Ball State University with a major in journalism and minor in anthropology. 219-933-4194, anna.ortiz@nwi.com

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