The Blackbird Dustup: More Info

We got more info from Dan Gross on the fight between the chef and a customer at Collingswood’s Blackbird Dining Establishment. Surprise, surprise… The customer was a lawyer who’s a partner at prominent firm Pepper Hamilton — and he was verbally abusing a visibly pregnant hostess:

Capasso told us yesterday that he did sock Zemaitis once, with a left, but it was “in self-defense,” while he was being restrained from behind by a friend of the lawyer. Police arrested Capasso, 33, who filed a criminal complaint against Zemaitis, 56, for harassment/offensive touching. He also faces a hearing today. The fight was reported yesterday by Philadelphia magazine’s Victor Fiorillo at Capasso says Zemaitis, upset about a long wait for a table, became “verbally abusive to our hostess, who’s seven months pregnant,” and when Capasso confronted him, Zemaitis “cursed at me … threatened to have the restaurant shut down … and slammed me against the wall with both hands,” the restaurateur says. Zemaitis denies throttling Capasso or saying anything about shutting the place down. Although he’ll never eat there, he doesn’t want to see the restaurant “closed over this.” Capasso is embarrassed over the situation, which took place in front of a full dining room of about 70 people.
Capasso says that he’s 5-8, weighs 165 pounds and that Zemaitis is “about 6-3, 250 pounds.” Zemaitis, who says he’s 5 feet 9 1/2 and a “pudgy” 220 pounds, says he’s “not a tough guy” and had “never been in a fight” until last week.


Chef, lawyer in NJ dustup [Daily News]


The Blackbird Dustup: More Info