After another incident at Atlanta-based Houston’s restaurant resulted in the arrest of three women, T.I. has vowed to take the Malcolm X approach against the eatery.
Videos went viral Monday, May 21 of women being arrested in the bushes outside of the upscale casual dining chain as one of the women is accused of assaulting an officer.
“Get off of me!” the woman says as another says off camera that she’s “calling the police — the real police.”
The ladies involved in the Mother’s Day incident have been identified as Brittany Marie Lucio, Asia’h Sharrell Epperson and Erica Walker. According to a police report obtained by 11Alive News, the officer working as security at Houston’s was asked to escort the women out of the restroom because they came to use it after the restaurant had closed at 10 p.m. They had apparently been asked to leave twice before then. The officer went into the restroom and asked the women to leave three times to no avail. That’s when he grabbed Lucio by the wrist and said, “Let’s go.”
He claimed that once they got to the door, Lucio pulled away and said, “Get your hands off of me!” “Ok, just leave the restaurant,” the officer responded. The women didn’t move and the officer grabbed Lucio’s wrist again and got her outside the restaurant where she reportedly shouted, “Get your f—ing hands off me! You ain’t about to touch me.”
The officer claimed the exclamation was followed by Lucio hurling a punch at him that caused two lacerations inside his mouth. The officer grabbed hold of the woman and asked staff to dial 911. He also had to restrain Lucio and Walker. That’s where Epperson’s, a former “American Idol” finalist and “Greenleaf” actress, video picks up.
And T.I. has had it with the officer, whom Epperson identified as Guzman in the clip.
“So I got a message for Houston’s. For all we went though y’all gon’ allow old Guzman to drag this young lady out the bathroom, through the restaurant, pushing her to the bushes and physically assault her? That’s what y’all gonna do? After I put my face on it?” Tip says referencing the protest he led against the restaurant over racial discrimination earlier this year that led to a partnership between him and the establishment. “That’s what y’all gonna do? Guzman, I need see you, homes. Come do me like that. Come drag me through the restaurant. Ain’t no talk. We don’t want nothing but some smoke.
“We done tried the Martin Luther King way, it’s time for Malcolm X,” he adds.
In a follow-up video, T.I. says he’s going to get Lucio’s felony obstruction charge “knocked out of the way” and blasts Guzman as a “coward” for roughing up the woman.
However, Lucio and Walker’s attorney, Gerald Griggs, said the three women, who were each charged with criminal trespass, had arrived at Houston’s to meet up with friends who were already dining. After things escalated when the officer tried to take the women out through the back entrance, Griggs wants a complete investigation from the Atlanta Police Department. He also wants the district attorney to drop the charges.
“We are seriously concerned about the level of force that was used,” Griggs told the news station of the officer reportedly throwing the women into the bushes, for which he wants an explanation. “We believe they were profiled and subject to police brutality.”
While the officer’s actions are being reviewed by the ADP’s Office of Professional Standards, Lucio said on Instagram Friday that she was “utterly frustrated, hurt, depressed and confused” by the incident. She also said her career, happiness and freedom had been taken from her as a result.
Houston’s, which is investigating, has issued a statement sticking by the managers’ response.
“The evidence we have seen thus far shows that three women arrived approximately 30 minutes after closing time, they went into the restroom as a group after being told that the restaurant was closed,” the statement read. “The three stayed in the restroom for more than 10 minutes, and refused to leave despite repeated requests from several managers to do so. Eventually, an off-duty Atlanta Police Officer was summoned with whom one or more of the women got into an altercation that led to arrests. Based on our current understanding, we believe our managers responded appropriately to this unfortunate situation.”