NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Two men allegedly pretending to be police officers were caught red-handed and wound up causing chaos inside a busy restaurant in Hell’s Kitchen.
The start of the Sunday brunch brawl last weekend can be seen in surveillance video exclusively obtained by CBS2.
Two men in the basement of HK Hell’s Kitchen pulled the ATM down to the ground in an attempt to steal money, restaurant owner Peter Meskouris told CBS2’s Tracee Carrasco.
“I see two people trying to break into the ATM. I confronted them. They told me they were police officers,” he said.
Meskouris said the two men, 25-year-old Shane Crowley and 26-year-old John Agudelo, got angry when he approached them.
“Started threatening me, if I don’t mind my business they were going to lock me up,” he said. “Police officers don’t rob ATMs. I go if you do, let me call the cops, and we’ll find out what’s going on.”
That’s when things escalated and moved upstairs into the main dining room, where customers and employees got involved.
“Thirty people fighting and trying to separate the place,” Meskouris said. “They came upstairs, they started attacking some customers, and throwing tables, and breaking some chairs, and they did a lot of damage to the restaurant.”
Another customer ran down Ninth Avenue and told a real police officer what was going on. Crowley and Agudelo were arrested, giving customers a brunch experience they were not expecting.
“It was a little bit out of the ordinary than what we’re used to,” one man said.
The two men were charged with criminal impersonation, criminal mischief, assault and failure to pay their tab at the bar.