Dozens of Roma protest in front of restaurant in Czech town after food server allegedly assaults a Romani woman, police are investigating
Several dozen Romani people assembled yesterday afternoon in front of the Spanish restaurant in Hrnčířská Street, Ústí nad Labem, Czech Republic in order to protest an incident that allegedly took place on the evening of 10 July, when some Romani people who had gathered for a demonstration on Mírové náměstí in that same town then visited the restaurant and a food server on duty is alleged to have assaulted one of the Romani women in the group. Other customers of the Spanish restaurant, along with the waiter, are also alleged to have attacked the Romani woman's boyfriend when he came to her defense.
Police have begun investigating the entire incident. Video footage of the street fighting part of what happened has been posted to social media, along with the accusation that a food server assaulted one of the Romani women in the group.
What allegedly sparked the incident was that french fries had been left on a table where the woman had been sitting and the food server asked her to clean them up. The woman said the french fries were not hers and the food server then allegedly head-butted her.
The woman's boyfriend stood up for her and they both were then attacked by the food server and other customers. A co-owner of the restaurant has given a different description of what happened to local media.
"We've been here 11 years, but what has been happening here during the last two years is unprecedented," the co-owner told the regional daily Ústecký deník. "They always walk up here, sit down, occupy the entire front garden, shout at each other there and deter other customers."
"Yesterday [10 July] the food server warned them more than once that such things are just not done. They'd brought kebabs and such with them," the co-owner alleged to the daily.
"My colleague took it all away from them and threw it away. Well, then it started," the co-owner told local media.
"The police have opened an investigation into felony rioting," police spokesperson Alena Bartošová told news server Romea.cz. "The customers had brought their own food to the restaurant and the food server told them to leave and take their food with them."
"A verbal clash escalated into physical assault. The incident happened at 21:00," Bartošová said.
Yesterday afternoon police had to patrol the restaurant because several dozen Romani people assembled in front of it to protest Saturday's conflict, and the chief of the Ústí nad Labem Police, Vladimír Danyluk, went there to discuss the situation with the Romani protesters. "The entire incident is being investigated," he told them, adding that a food server and one of the Romani men had been injured during Saturday's incident.
"The municipal police have been asked for their street camera footage and the people in that footage will be summoned to give statements. The interrogations began yesterday and will continue tomorrow, on Tuesday, on Wednesday, and maybe even on Thursday," Danyluk said before asking the Romani protesters to disperse peacefully, which they did.
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