Imagine you are out with your family on Mothers Day. You are at a restaurant, enjoying a nice seafood dish and some cheesy buns. You’ve asked your waitress for a refill when BAM! The booth you are sitting at is no longer in Red Lobster but beside the UFC octagon and you are forced to watch in horror as four young men rip each other to pieces!
This was the appalling scene for a Red Lobster restaurant filled with unsuspecting patrons in Columbus, GA on May 10th 2015. Artrez Coppins, Edward Merritt, Tommie Mullins and Corey Turner were all arrested after scuffle and were charged with battery, reckless conduct and disorderly conduct.
According to the Columbus police department the incident occurred as one family was trying to leave and was stopped at the door by a group of men. The group then singled out one man – who was holding an infant – and began the attack. Two other men stepped in to remove the child from the situation and were also assaulted. They sustained minor injuries. Luckily, the fourteen month old was completely unharmed in the events. It’s alleged that the fight broke out because the group believed the victim was involved in a shooting that took place in 2014.
These young men made complete fools of themselves and the charges laid don’t even begin to cover the damage they could have done. Regardless of any qualms these men might have previously had with each other…to put a child in harms way is entirely unacceptable behavior. Battery? Yes. Reckless conduct? Absolutely. Disorderly conduct? No question. But what about the child endangerment charges?
To the families whose celebrations were cut short, I hope you were watching closely. I hope you took your children home and held them close. I hope you explained to them that revenge is a dish that isn’t ours to serve…especially not at a Red Lobster.