A restaurant owner in Darlington was threatened with bad reviews by customers whose food was late despite a police stand-off going on outside.
It had been reported a man had been brandishing a knife in the nearby Bondgate Tavern showing staff a video of the person responsible for assaulting him on New Year’s Day. He asked staff if they know the people in the video.
On leaving the pub the man recorded himself in a Facebook Live video brandishing the knife and holding it in full view of the camera.
Witnesses said the road was closed from Seaton Leng and Son Ltd Funeral Directors to the roundabout at the Majestic Theatre as well as all the back alleys. This also badly affected the popular Great Akbar Restaurant.
It seems the incident was centred around the area of Bondgate Mini Market and Kebab Grill and took place around 6.30pm. Locals took to social media to tell others to avoid the area as there were police vans and cars everywhere.
Two hours passed from the moment the streets were sealed off until the knife-wielding suspect was arrested. No-one was allowed to enter or leave the area until the suspect was caught.
Later, a particularly disgruntled customer threatened to leave the Great Akbar a review saying ‘everything was bad’ with their food delivery as it was 30-minutes late due to the incident.
Restaurant owner Abu Raihan told me: “This was obviously an isolated incident and the police dealt with things really well. But of course, being closed for a couple of hours on a busy Saturday was frustrating.
“We pride ourselves on our delivery service and even when I explained to the customer what was happening in the area, they still insisted they should be compensated for the half hour delay and would post a very bad review if they weren’t even though they admitted the food was piping hot when they received it.
“I just didn’t know what to think and was gobsmacked to be honest. “But I didn’t want to ruin my night any further by getting angry at them. I just said politely the whole incident was out of our control.
“No-one could get in or out and customers just had to watch the whole thing unfold through the windows.
“You can’t plan for anything like that, but the good news is there’s been no reaction on social media since the weekend. some people will try anything to get something, but you can’t do anything about it.”
Despite customers being held in the restaurant and take away orders coming in, staff did their best to complete takeaway orders as quickly as possible given what was going on outside.
42-year-old Davide Sardu of Bondgate, appeared at Newton Aycliffe Magistrates’ Court earlier this week. He pleaded guilty to possessing a knife in a public place and resisting a police officer.
Magistrates asked probation services to carry out a pre-sentencing report and Sardu was bailed to appear back before the court on July 31 to be sentenced.