Saginaw man faces 6 counts for assault at eatery
Closure is coming closer for an assault that took place in a Chinese restaurant here last December.
Frankenmuth Police Chief Don Mawer said charges have been filed through the Saginaw County Prosecutor’s Office earlier this month.
The suspect, a 28-year-old Saginaw man, is currently out on bond and will be arraigned in the near future on six counts. Count 1 is assault and battery, Counts 2-4 are molestation/disturbing a worker and Counts 5-6 are wearing a mask during the commission of crime.
The case began at 7:17pm Thursday, December 5, at the Szechuan House Chinese Restaurant, 120 West Genesee Street.
Upon arrival, the FPD officers contacted a 21-year-old female employee. She told officers a male subject came into the restaurant shortly after 7pm, walked to a booth and sat down. The woman came over the booth and the man told her he was still looking over the menu.
A short time later, the employee returned to get the man’s order, however, now the subject was wearing a ski mask pulled down over his face, with only his eyes visible.
The suspect stood up and ordered the victim to be seated where he placed his hand over her mouth and advised her not to say anything.
The suspect then proceeded to the front of the restaurant, adjacent to the kitchen area, where he observed two other employees. He walked past the cash register, dashed out the front door to a vehicle in the parking lot, with the establishment’s owner in foot pursuit. It was the owner’s daughter he assaulted.
The suspect jumped into a vehicle and quickly sped away. The vehicle was rather distinctive – a four-door Mercedes Benz with a sunroof, gold in color, made between 1994-1999 and unique wheels.
Meanwhile, a Michigan State Police composite artist interviewed the victim and produced a drawing. Surveillance video cameras in the area also assisted the FPD.
The word got out in the media and soon “numerous tips were called into our office,” Mawer said.
“One anonymous tip called said the car was seen leaving Fashion Square Mall. The license plate number was even given to us,” Mawer added.
The plate came back to an owner with a Saginaw address; however, the information indicated the Mercedes was owned by a much older man than was described.
Officers went to the home and man told officers his son had the car at the time they mentioned.
Shortly thereafter, they located the 28-year-old Saginaw man, who was uncooperative with authorities. A police line up was set up and the victim identified him as her assailant.
As the case unfolded, officers learned the subject was at Frankenmuth River Place before going to the Szechuan House. He was acting suspiciously, walking in and out of stores and wearing the ski mask.
What the subject’s actual intent at the restaurant remains unclear.
“When he put his mask on, he must have thought he had an opportunity. Possibly, he thought the female was working alone when he discovered the two others inside the building,” Mawer said.
The female was not physically injured, but did suffer emotional stress and trauma.