Alleged fight involving forks leads to arrest, speculation

A restaurant worker grabbed a handful of forks and stabbed a co-worker several times over a dispute about tips Saturday night, police said, but his manager suspects another form of foul play.

Williams Carlos Escobar, 23, of San Francisco, was working with a 44-year-old Burlingame man at Yaya Cuisine on 1108 Burlingame Ave. when the two began a dispute at about 11 p.m. regarding how to divide an unknown amount of tips, according to Burlingame police.

Escobar then reached into the busboy station, grabbed a handful of forks and stabbed the man in the left side of his neck and left leg several times, Cmdr. Mike Matteucci said.

The fight had been broken up by the time police responded shortly afterward, Matteucci said. Escobar was arrested for assault with great bodily injury.

The victim, a part-time waiter, was taken to Stanford Medical Center and released Sunday morning, he said.

The 300-seat restaurant usually closes at 10 p.m. on Saturdays but was scheduled to stay open until 1:30 a.m. that night because of extra entertainment, Yaya Cuisine manager David Young said. The restaurant, which opened six weeks ago, closed down after the incident.

Young, who was working at the time of the incident, said he plans to give a statement to police claiming that Escobar did not stab anyone. Instead, he said no stabbing ever occurred and that the victim is merely trying to claim workers’ compensation costs from the injury.

He claims Escobar and the victim began rolling around on the ground and the victim must have poked himself with a fork that was on the floor, he said. He said the victim then stopped the fight and called 911.

Young said Escobar holds several different positions at the restaurant and is a host during the day. It’s uncertain if Escobar will retain the positions.

The alleged attack Saturday night occurred just a few blocks from where Thomas Waddell, 46, allegedly stabbed his manager with a fork at Safeway on 1450 Howard Ave. on Oct. 22, authorities said. Waddell was also accused of throwing drain cleaner in his manager’s eyes, officials said.

mrosenberg@examiner.com

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