Suspects wielding hammers and batons attack diners at Tinley Park restaurant
By Mike Nolan Sun-Times Media email@example.com May 19, 2012 3:20PM
Police investigate the scene at The Ashford House Restaurant, 7959 W. 159th Street, in Tinley Park, where a group of people entered and started assaulting patrons on May 19, 2012. | Brett Roseman~Sun-Times Media
Updated: July 1, 2012 12:30PM
It was the middle of the lunch rush Saturday, and Mike Winston was working in the kitchen of his Tinley Park restaurant, the Ashford House, when a waitress screamed a fight had broken out in the dining room.
Police call the melee at the restaurant a targeted assault by a mob that Winston said wielded metal batons and hammers. Ten diners were hurt in the attack, and three of those were hospitalized.
Tinley Park police had five suspected assailants in custody, and Winston said 18 young men, all wearing hooded jackets and obscuring their faces with scarves and other coverings, stormed into the restaurant.
“They came running in the door single file,” said Winston, who owns Ashford House, 7959 W. 159th St., and the adjacent Winston’s Market.
Winston, and police, said the men knew who their targets were, and that the attack wasn’t a random act of violence. Winston said the mob “targeted” a group of 20 diners, all of whom were from out of state.
“Once they attacked the table, they went and started hitting random people,” Winston said.
Along with hammers, the men used what Winston described as “old-fashioned police batons” as well as metal batons.
“Four or five people got knocked over the head pretty good, enough to require stitches,” he said.
He chased after one of the attackers “and had him on the ground, then five guys got out of a car and started kicking the [crap] out of me,” Winston said.
Winston said he was kicked in the back of the head and suffered several bruises, but he was the only restaurant employee who was hurt.
“They did a whole lot of damage,” he said. “They flipped over tables, they broke half the dishes.”
Surveillance cameras inside the restaurant captured the attack, and footage was turned over to Tinley Park police, Winston said.