Police arrest Utica restaurant assault suspect

By: Kara Szymanski | Shelby - Utica News | Published August 10, 2020

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UTICA — The Utica Police Department recently arrested a suspect in the Utica Black Rock Bar and Grill assault incident, which occurred July 10 due to a disagreement about wearing a face mask.

The incident occurred at 9:41 p.m. July 10 at Black Rock Bar and Grill, located at 12515 Hall Road in Utica. A man and his friends entered the restaurant, and one of the men didn’t have his mask on.

The man was asked by a hostess to put his mask on in order for him to be able to stay in the restaurant, and he allegedly became verbally abusive to the hostess. A manager went to settle him down, but the man refused to put the mask on, and he allegedly physically assaulted the manager and then fled the scene.

The incident was caught on the restaurant’s surveillance system.

The suspect is a 19-year-old man from Clinton Township, according to police.

Utica Police Detective Greg Morabito said that police were able to arrest the suspect not long after information had been released to the public.

“I arrested him shortly after it aired on (the) news. He is being charged with two counts (of) assault and battery and disorderly (conduct),” he said in an email.

Morabito said that if a business in Utica has this sort of incident occur at its location, the best thing to do is to give the police a call. They will come out and handle the situation.

“I recommend the next time they have any type of disorderly conduct going on in the store, they should call the police,” Morabito said in an email.