A man was arrested for allegedly using a razor in a fight that broke out inside the Gourmet Heaven on Whitney Avenue early Sunday morning.
Michael Farino, 23, allegedly attempted to slash the face of one of the men involved in the dispute with a straight-edged razor before accidentally cutting himself. The incident occurred at approximately 2:24 a.m. Sunday, New Haven police spokesperson Bonnie Winchester said in an e-mail.
“One subject took out a straight razor and attempted to slash the face of the second subject. The victim received only a minor scratch to his cheek while the attacker slipped and almost completely cut off one of his own fingers,” Winchester said.
Because of his injury, Farino was taken to the Yale-New Haven Hospital, from which he was discharged that same day, a spokesperson for the hospital said.
Farino was charged with criminal attempt to commit assault in the first degree and reckless endangerment, Winchester said.
Patrick McGill ’06, who was at Gourmet Heaven with some friends at the time of the incident, said the brawl started when a woman pushed Farino.
“I was sitting at the back of Gourmet Heaven, and all of a sudden a girl pushes this guy into a stand of granolas,” McGill said. “This guy’s friends came to help him and the girl’s friends came to help her.”
Though McGill and his friends stayed at the back of the restaurant and could only see a part of what was happening, he said it appeared eight to 10 people were involved in the brawl, which lasted for “seven to 10 minutes.”
“When [Farino’s] friends dragged him out, he came back in. He had a straight-edge razor on his hand,” McGill said. “There was blood all over the floor.”
McGill said it appeared that some of the individuals involved in the dispute had been drinking. He said one of the Gourmet Heaven employees attempted to break up the fight while another employee dialed a phone number — a call McGill said he believes was to the police, who arrived about a minute after Farino ran out of the store.
A manager at the Gourmet Heaven on Whitney said the owners did not want the workers involved to comment on the incident.
Mohamed Masaud, the nighttime manager of Gourmet Heaven on Broadway, said he heard about the incident and knew the identity of both the assailant and the victim.
“We know the guys. Both of them are bouncers. One of them is from for the Irish Pub and the other is from Myst,” Masaud said.
Masaud said no similar incident has occurred at the Broadway venue.
“Since we came into existence four years and a half ago, nothing like that has happened,” he said.
Masaud said that in the case of a brawl inside the store, employees working behind the counter have been instructed only to dial a direct phone line to the police.
“That’s what I tell the guys here, when it’s a fight, nobody interfere,” Masaud said.