A BRUFF man who went into his local Chinese take-away to order the special and a can of Coke left with a broken nose after he was assaulted by the owner’s son, a court has heard.
Zeyu Liu, 24, with an address at Ballycampion, Bruff, was before Kilmallock Court charged with assault causing harm at the Lantern Chinese Restaurant, Bruff on August 29, 2011.
The injured party, a self-employed farmer, said that at approximately 11.30 on the night in question he went into the Chinese where he ordered and paid for the special – a chicken curry, and a can of Coke.
The injured party explained that his food was not put on the front counter but on a side counter which required him to go through a door to the seated restaurant area. He said that he opened the door to get the food, and was then hit numerous times – “at least five or six times” on the nose and the eyes by a man.
He said there was blood on his face “and my two eyes had swollen up very fast.”
The court heard that the injured party sustained a broken nose during the incident and was off work for between 10 days and two weeks.
“I was black,” he said in evidence.
When asked under cross-examination by barrister Alicia Hayes, how much he had to drink on the night, the injured party said he had consumed “around five or six pints”.
“Were you a bit drunk?” asked Ms Hayes. “Do you get a bit belligerent when you get a bit drunk?”
The injured party reiterated that he had “only five or six pints” and was “well capable” and went up to the garda station to make a statement.
Ms Hayes put it to the injured party that he said to Mr Liu: “Where the eff is my effing food?” on a number of occasions.
The injured party denied this and said he asked Mr Liu “what is the special and for a can of coke”.
Ms Hayes put it to the injured party that it was “a bit strange” that her client “would hit a paying customer out of the blue for absolutely no reason.”
“Well, that’s why I’m here,” said the injured party.
Ms Hayes put it to the injured party that it was he who hit Mr Liu first “and any blows that Mr Liu gave you were in self-defence”.
The injured party said this was “incorrect”.
Photos taken by Mr Liu on his iPhone of injuries to his own forearm, wrist and shin were presented to the court.
The injured party said he “100 per cent had nothing to do with those injuries”.
Through an interpreter, Mr Liu said that when the injured party came in to order a take-away he was using very abusive language and was asking what the difference was between a chicken curry and a beef curry.
“I just told him it was the difference between the chicken and the beef and he did not believe and he started swearing at me,” said Mr Liu, through his interpreter.
When asked what kind of words the customer used, Mr Liu said ‘f’ words “and something about Chinese”.
When further asked by Ms Hayes what he took that to mean, Mr Liu said: “I think he is a bit racist and drunk and tried to use the drunkenness to swear at me.”
Mr Liu said the man ordered chicken curry and he sent the order to the kitchen. Mr Liu said he returned a short time later and the man was asking him where his food was and used the ‘f’ word.
Mr Liu said he was in business and he didn’t want to confront him so he went back into the kitchen to check the food and when he came back out, the man had gone from the take-away to the restaurant which was closed to the public at the time.
Mr Liu said the man started swearing at him again and punched him in the chest.
“He hit me first,” said Mr Liu who added that the man pushed away all the chairs and tables.
Mr Liu said he notified the gardai of the incident.
The court heard that Mr Liu is studying for a degree in business and management and had never been in trouble before.
Superintendent Alan Cunningham of Bruff garda station said that the injured party was assaulted on the night in question and even if it was a case of self-defence on Mr Liu’s part “the severity of the assault was over and above what was needed to remove the man from the premises”.
Judge Mary Larkin said she was satisfied the injured party was assaulted on the night in question and harm was caused to him.
Judge Larkin asked the parties involved if they would like to consider their options, as a matter of this type can “have very serious implications on someone’s career”.
Judge Larkin said she was noting it as matter of fact that the injured party was assaulted and harm was caused to him.
Judge Larkin adjourned the matter to March 15.