Watch: Videos Offer More Insight Into Carmine’s Incident

Carmine’s, Thursday Night.

By Carol Tannenhauser

Security camera footage sent to West Side Rag by a spokesperson for Carmine’s restaurant (91st & Broadway) shows the moment when a dispute last Thursday got physical.

The story, which has gone national, involves a group of nine people who showed up to eat at the restaurant early Thursday evening. Six were seated inside after showing their vaccine cards to employees. But three men who arrived afterwards did not have the cards, and were not permitted to enter the restaurant as per NYC’s vaccination mandate, according to Jeffrey Bank, Carmine’s owner.

Some of the women who had been seated inside came out.

“When the group of three men were unable to provide vaccination proof, our hosts informed their friends seated inside, and the already seated guests came out at different times to argue with our staff and try to get our staff to violate New York law even though the men could not produce vaccination proof along with identification, as New York law requires,” Bank said in a statement.

At the end of the video that follows, you can see a nearly imperceptible interaction between the hostess and one of the customers, after which the customer and two others spin on their heels and follow the hostess back outside. Shortly after, the fight erupts.

What ignited the explosion? According to Justin Moore, the lawyer for three women of whom were arrested and charged with misdemeanor assault and criminal mischief for their part in the melee — the hostess uttered a racial slur. According to the hostess, she said something like, “Enjoy your dinner.”

To support their version, Carmine’s spokesperson also sent WSR a video that ran in the New York Post. That tape has audio and you can hear a manager, who is Black, ask the Texas women what happened, after the fight had been broken up. “She kept walking up on us,” one customer responded, referring to the hostess. “None of the women say that anyone, let alone the hostess…uttered a racial slur,” the Carmine’s spokesperson wrote.

“This video footage makes clear that the women’s Texan criminal defense attorney is heaving falsehoods to try to get his clients off the hook for their attack,” Bank said. “It also makes clear Carmine’s staff acted appropriately and professionally. When my employees mess up, I hold us accountable. But when our employees are attacked, I will defend them to the limit.”

We still have not heard back from Moore, the lawyer for the customers. In an earlier statement to The New York Times, he characterized the event as follows, “The hostess begins spouting out derogatory comments, and speaking with two of the women; they claim that the N-word is being spewed out…”

Moore called the altercation “mutual combat.”

The three women arrested were given Desk Appearance Tickets, instructing them to appear in court on October 5.

NEWS | 45 comments | permalink
    1. Arnie says:

      What simply amazing is why aren’t the three Texas women who assaulted this young woman still in jail? It’s because NYC has a new catch and release law thanks to our current DA and mayor which puts us all in danger.

      • Honest Abe says:

        It’s called “innocent until proven guilty” and it’s a basic tenet of our legal process.

      • Bob says:

        I hate to say it, but the law made the right call here. Sure, they’re likely going to turn out to be guilty, and may or may not do time — but are they really a threat to anyone in the meantime? Are they really likely to make a habit of this? I guess they’re a flight risk, but otherwise I don’t see why I, as a taxpayer, should be paying to house and feed them prior to trial.

      • EricaC says:

        I have to ask – is your desire to keep people locked up pending trial applicable to everyone, or only poor people? The reason the prior system was ended was because it basically meant that you could buy your way out of pretrial detention if you had enough money to pay for it. If you really think criminals should stay in prison pending trial, then don’t argue for the old system – restore pretrial detention but eliminate cash bail for everyone. In America, staying in jail should not be based on whether you have money – but if you want to hold everyone, advocate for that. If you don’t advocate for that, at least admit you’re in favor of a system where justice depends on having money.

        • Mark Moore says:

          In this case it would be flight risk combined with overwhelming evidence of guilt. If they’re eating at Carmine’s they’re not poor, but they are from Texas.

        • SadforUWS says:

          why are you talking about poor people? are you making assumptions about the patrons? have you seen how much an order of pasta costs at Carmine’s?

          • EricaC says:

            SadforUWS – no, I’m talking about bail reform. The reason for its adoption is that the old system let people with access to money walk in circumstances people without access to money sat in jail. It isn’t fair. Money shouldn’t buy justice.

            • One Person's Utopia, Another Person's Hell says:

              Nor should some warped, perverted sense of ‘fairness’ compromise Public Safety.

              Keep dangerous people in custody.
              Keep repeat offenders in custody.
              Keep flight risks in custody.

        • EdNY says:

          Exactly. Or structure bail based on the ability to pay.

          • EricaC says:

            EdNY – that is another way to deal with it, though that doesn’t usually work out well for poor people.

            I’m just tired of people whinging about letting people out on bail, without knowing why the system was changed and having a solution for it. I think bail should not be available for anyone who is a danger to the public, with or without money. I would have preferred a more thoughtful approach to fixing the problem. But there was a real problem and it needed fixing.

        • Confused Person says:

          LOL, they were eating at Carmines so anyone who is talking about them being poor is being pretty racist actually. You don’t surround and attack someone, even if they said something you don’t like. Report them to the manager and get their dumb ass fired like they deserve instead of sending yourself sent to jail. They should go to jail and they ARE a risk to the community — the video proves that pretty clearly. Or is it cool to just attack people in NYC now?

          • Josie from the Block says:

            You are a person I could hang with! Thank you!

          • Daniel says:

            Agreed completely. If she said a slur, which seems plausible given the reaction in the second video, the woman should have complained to the manager, not attack her. I don’t mind her getting out of jail until the court date though. As others have said, innocent until proven guilty should be held unless they believe the person is a serious threat to the community (murderer, etc.).

            • Ll says:

              It is plausible given the reaction? That is certainly a possibility. ANOTHER possibility is that they misheard what she said. Or. Gasp. They were offended by what shevsaid. Their reaction is not plausible proof that she said a racial slur.

        • Leon says:

          Are you kidding me? Please put away the woke playbook and return to the real world. His statement refers to the people involved in this incident. They could afford to fly to NY from Texas and eat at Carmine’s, which is not gourmet but is not cheap. So they are not poor.

          The identity politics really has to stop. Everything is turned into white vs. black, rich vs. poor, etc. It is the boy who cried wolf – people turn non-events into events so that when there is a real problem, people shrug it off.

        • joe braun says:

          You assume that they are “poor people” because they are black.
          This is the way it’s been going on forever.
          President Obama ran twice for office with the great slogan “Yes We Can”.
          Now the power that be are saying
          “No You Can’t”.
          Just because someone is a person of color does not mean they are poor.
          Thinking this way is – racist.
          These three ladies traveled from Texas to NYC. They went to have dinner at Carmine with three friends. Carmine is not expensive, nor is it cheap.
          Black, brown, yellow, red, pink or white does not mean poor.

      • bill says:

        This is always the policy of the NYPD. Nothing
        new: Remember the woman(nut) who accusted a
        14 yo of stealing her phone(she had left it
        in an uber, the driver later returned the
        phone to her) She assulted the father and
        son and the NYPD issued an Harassment summons
        only( nothing for the assult).

    2. Bob says:

      Like they say, a picture is worth a thousand words — and we can now say conclusively that these three women attacked the hostess (from behind, no less).

      And, sure, maybe they truly misheard the word “dinner.” I tend to think it’s more likely, they just took “enjoy your dinner” as snark, and that’s why they got angry, but perhaps they really did mishear. But even if they misheard, and thought it was a racial slur, that’s exactly why it’s illegal to go around attacking people for things you think you might have heard them say — because, among other things, you might be completely wrong.

      • EdNY says:

        Misheard “enjoy your dinner”? Quite a stretch, I think.

        • Danielle Remp says:

          I think so too. I have lived on the upper west side for over 50 years, and I have never heard a white person (or an Asian) use the “n-word”.

    3. charles becker says:

      Kudos to the owners of Carmine for standing up for their employees

    4. Get Real says:

      To say that the Carmine’s staff did anything but handle this situation professionally and the best that they could is laughable. What a sleazy attorney that is representing the customers. Unreal.

    5. charlie says:

      kudos to the owners of carmine for supporting their employees.

    6. RAL says:

      at the end of the day doesn’t matter who insulted who – whoever threw the first punch is at fault. This is not the way normal people deal with complaints.

      • Tina says:

        But for the last 5+ years, Progressives have been saying that mere words are “literally violence” Therefore, if you say something they disagree with, or even “mishear” what they think you said, you’ve committed an act of violence against them and they can respond in kind. This is a core tenet of wokeness. Interesting to see so many of my UWS neighbors now disagree in this case.

        • EdNY says:

          You’re making a broad assumption about your UWS neighbors – that they accept the claim that certain words are “literally violence.” I’ve lived on the UWS for 40+ years and have yet to meet someone who agrees with that premise. What are you basing your claim on?

    7. jay says:

      I’m wondering if “have a nice dinner” as she wears a mask… just coming off the somewhat unpleasant confrontation of their friends not having their covid card .. made the one woman think she heard a derogatory term that kind of rhymes with dinner.

      The video footage shows the hostess innocently looking out thinking that the guests were being seated and always done. why on God’s green earth would she ever think to utter a racial slur when she herself is Asian and let’s be honest has probably dealt with a bunch of xenophobic trash during the course of her life. why would she risk her job like that?? sometimes you have to use a little bit of common sense.

      what I will never understand is why BLM jumped on this case. Man are they wrong here and this is a really terrible look.

      I’m wondering why did they choose this particular situation to jump on and defend? There are so many horrible injustices in this country but this particular incident seems.. pretty obvious they misheard her.. and we’re way too quick to jump to violence. Not a good luck for the BLM organization.

      • Bob says:

        It’s important to remember that this is NOT the national BLM organization — it is Hank Newsome, who USES the BLM name, even though the BLM organization has asked him to stop.

        So why is Hank Newsome doing this? Well, Google him… I don’t think it will take anyone long to figure it out!

      • UWS Wineguy says:

        THIS!!!! Thank you Jay! Was just saying that this seems like the wrong thing to get behind. Every “group” “country” “Society” has assholes…it’s up to the members of said groups to recognize when this is the case. BLM, you need to step back and re-assess the situation. Ask to see the security footage and do your own research…to not do that is a disservice to the whole movement.

    8. Zoo Keeper says:

      The trauma from history gets passed down

    9. Josh says:

      I was at a table outside Tal’s Bagels when it happened. Well before the police showed up (I left before they got there), the women and some of the guys who accompanied them were kind of pacing up and down Broadway. The older woman kept repeating “You don’t just walk up on black people like that!” Never once did I hear her say anything about the words that the hostess used, but she repeated that line about a dozen times.

      • Josh says:

        Careful, I know some Trump supporters who would actually think these were real news stories instead of satire.

    10. UWSConcerned says:

      Amazing this resulted in nothing more than an appearance ticket. It will be interesting to see if those involved are punished at all for their actions. Also puzzling as to why BLM was protesting this. Or did they not have the benefit of the video at the time the protest was held?

      • Peter says:

        This is a misdemeanor. An appearance ticket is what is issued. Did anyone pay attention to criminal justice reform? Ending mass incarceration? Closing rikers island? Cases like this are routinely handled this way. This isn’t a felony or a major crime. Its fairly common actually.

    11. UWSEd says:

      Serious legal question: what happens if these 3 women simply don’t show up to their October desk warrant to face charges? They hopped on a plane back to Houston and stay put. Do we really think our Manhattan DA will issue an arrest warrant and try to get these women extradited to NYC to face charges? Doubtful. Then what?

      • Peter says:

        Nothing happens. Send a plane? Are you serious? This is a misdemeanor charge. Nothing will happen. Amazing and sad how useless and uninformed people are. They got an appearance ticket. Remember closing Rikers criminal justice reform? Ending mass incarceration? Well this us part of it. Thus is why when someone gets pushed into the subway tracks the guy has 47 prior arrests and never spent time in jail. Now everyone is pro law and order? SMH

      • Jo Baldwin says:

        It will appear in the next book of “New York Stories” or some other appropriate title. Case closed.

    12. StopRaceBaiting says:

      This is race baiting at its finest. Disagree with a position = racist. Don’t agree with someone WHOLEHEARTEDLY = racist. The biggest issue facing race in America is that you can’t have an actual conversation about race in America.

    13. roberta Maxwell says:

      Oh dear..a sad evening on the UWS

    14. Morrie Ross says:

      I am so impressed with how beautifully the Carmine’s people handled the assault. Truly inspirational how they stood up to bullies (and worse than bullies). Thank you for providing the tape which makes how they handled it very clear. Really awe-inspiring.

    15. Wendy says:

      When I’ve been at the UWS Carmine’s the majority of diners there are people of color. The men with these
      women were not vaccinated and should not have been
      allowed to enter. It’s about NYC Covid policy, not race.

    16. JL says:

      I did not watch any of the videos. I stopped watching violent videos after the young man kicked the woman down the escalator because she said something he didn’t like.

      The moral of this incident is you can’t physically assault someone because they might or might not have said something insulting. The line(legally) was crossed and there are cameras everywhere. You can’t storm The Capital wearing a Viking costume and not get caught.

      Oh, and get vaccinated so you can join your friends who want to eat inside. You don’t have to scheme the rules by showing up late because they will and should check the whole party. Otherwise, the mandate is meaningless. It’s win, win all around because you won’t get sick and die and you are less likely to get anyone else sick. People all over the world are dieing to get the vaccine, and we are down to the people who we have to pay to get the shots.