A North End diner who didn't think the free meal he got in exchange for a restaurant's mistake was good enough got the place hauled before the Boston Licensing Board today - even though he's now refusing to cooperate with the board or police.
Trattoria di Monica, 67 Prince St., had to explain an incident on Sept. 4, for which they received a police citation for "assault and battery, employee on patron."
According to a police report, the restaurant messed up on an order. When the customer complained, the restaurant agreed to comp him the cost of the food - which he then proceeded to eat. When the waitress gave him a bill for the wine he'd also consumed, he refused to pay that and began yelling and said he would be satisfied with nothing less than a full apology from the waitress. When that didn't happen, police say, one of the Mendoza brothers who own the restaurant told him the whole thing was free and asked him to just leave.
He left, in a huff. Outside, he encountered another Mendoza brother, taking a cigarette break and began to yell at him and made "a disparaging remark about his mother." Then, the report says, the brother swatted him and hit him in the face and the guy called 911.
The Mendoza brothers told the licensing board today that up until his encounter outside, the police report was accurate.
Frank Mendoza, the brother outside, said that as the man was yelling at him, he was also poking him with a cell phone. Finally, the man suggested "why don't you go fuck your mother?" Mendoza said "at that point I slapped his hand out of my chest" - and then walked away, to keep from doing something he'd regret.
The Mendozas' lawyer, William Ferullo, said their mother, Monica, not only started the restaurant, she died there - in a fall down some stairs five years ago - so the crack was "a particularly sensitive thing to say."
BPD Det. Thomas McDonough said that after initially talking to a police officer, the patron told him "he didn't wish to pursue charges and wouldn't show up at any proceedings."
The board decides Thursday what action, if any, to take.