Employee is charged in fight at restaurant

July 24, 2008|By Nicole Fuller | Nicole Fuller,Sun reporter

A knife fight broke out yesterday between two brothers employed at a popular downtown Annapolis restaurant, scattering workers and sending diners fleeing from their lunches of burritos and rice.

Two brothers who work in the kitchen at El Toro Bravo on West Street began arguing over their duties and took the dispute into the bar, where one wielded a large kitchen knife in front of patrons. Both suffered cuts, but neither was seriously hurt, said Officer Hal Dalton, a city police spokesman.

About a dozen people were having lunch about 2:20 p.m. when yelling erupted from the kitchen.

Armando Urbal, 31, of the 1000 block of Martha Court told police that he had ordered Luis Alberto Mojica to mop the floor.

"The younger one became enraged at this and attacked his brother with a knife," Dalton said. "The victim struggled with the suspect and managed to avoid being stabbed and just suffered some minor nicks on the arm."

They shouted at each other in Spanish as a waiter tried to break them up. Among the diners who ran for the door was a woman eating lunch with her 2-month-old daughter and a friend. Some who could not see the commotion from their seats continued to focus on their plates.

Linda Schmuck, a state worker who was dining with a colleague, dashed outside and called 911.

"This is my second call from El Toro Bravo restaurant on West Street in Annapolis, where one of the workers is attacking another worker with a knife," she told the operator.

In minutes, six Annapolis police cars arrived.

"Where's the knife?" an officer yelled as she charged inside the restaurant.

After the incident, Urbal fled into the kitchen, and Mojica, wearing an orange T-shirt and a backward Boston Red Sox cap, wept quietly on a bench usually reserved for diners awaiting a table. Urbal's blue T-shirt was bloodied.

A medic bandaged what he described as a "small, small, small" cut on Mojica's arm, after which he was handcuffed.

Mojica, 17, who lives with his brother, was taken to the police station and charged as an adult with first-degree assault and other offenses, Dalton said. Urbal was not charged.

The manager, who declined to give her name to a reporter, said, "It was just brothers fighting. They're really good employees."

nicole.fuller@baltsun.com

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