Customer-Waitress Argument Escalates Into Bizarre Scene On Staten Island

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A customer at a Staten Island diner who was looking to change the TV channel instead got chewed out, literally.

Mike Moudatsos, Jr. has run the quaint Oakwood Diner for more than two years but this was the first time one of his waitresses didn’t follow that all important mantra: the customer is always right, CBS 2’s Jessica Schneider reported.

Earlier this week, one of his regulars, 35-year-old Nicholas Cacace, requested that the soft rock music station that was on the diner television be changed to ESPN.

The waitress refused and that’s when things apparently turned ugly.

“I told them to get out, I don’t want you arguing in here,” Moudatsos said.

The argument spilled out of the diner and onto the sidewalk.

The waitress then called her longtime boyfriend, who showed up and allegedly started fighting with Cacace.

“He came running out of his car, they started fighting, rolling around on the floor,” Moudatsos said. “I broke it up. And then I looked. I saw his ear. I said, ‘Wow!’ He bit his ear.”

A criminal complaint has been filed against the alleged assailant, Thomas Thomasello, 52, who Moudatsos said pulled out a small baseball bat during the alleged altercation.

Doctors will likely fix Cacace’s ear with a skin graft taken from his leg, Schneider reported.

“Yeah, I mean, just like…wasn’t the whole ear…but…the side. The side it was mostly skin or whatever,” Moudatsos told CBS 2’s Pablo Guzman.

The two men have apparently known each other for a while and Moudatsos speculated there might have been more behind this brawl than just television channels.

Customers told CBS 2’s Guzman they were stunned by the incident.

“I think it’s crazy, what happened,” one woman said.

“Biting someone’s ear over a TV, it’s absurd!” a man added.

Police are investigating and working to get a copy of surveillance video of the incident.

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