‘Demanded a refund:’ Man charged after George Webb worker punched, another pulled gun on angry customer

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MILWAUKEE -- A Milwaukee man is facing charges in connection with an incident in which a George Webb employee was assaulted, and another pulled out a gun.

Raphael Calhoun Jr.

Raphael Calhoun Jr., 28, of Milwaukee, faces one count of substantial battery (substantial bodily harm with intent to cause bodily harm).

The criminal complaint says police were dispatched to the George Webb restaurant located near 21st and Mitchell on June 29 for a battery complaint.

There, they made contact with an employee, who indicated Calhoun "had become upset with the amount of time it was taking for his food to be ready." She said he demanded a refund from one of her coworkers, and wasn't given one. She said he then came back into the kitchen, walked through it, and came up to her and punched her in the face. She was diagnosed with a severe concussion at the hospital. She also sustained a laceration to her upper lip and a bruise on her arm.

Surveillance video of the incident was shared with police, and later, with the media.

After it was broadcast, on July 6, a citizen contacted police and identified Calhoun by name and date of birth. This citizen said Calhoun was "known to hang out on 14th and Washington."

Investigators put together a photo lineup and the complaint says the George Webb employee who was punched identified Calhoun as the suspect -- telling investigators she was "100 percent sure" that he was the individual who punched her in the face.

The complaint makes no reference to the fact that another George Webb employee pulled a gun on the suspect after the worker was punched -- but surveillance video showed that was the case.

The employees involved in this incident spoke out on July 11.

The video of the encounter sent shock waves beyond Milwaukee's city limits.

"I have served this guy many times and never had a problem," said Veronica Kaehler, manager.

Surveillance cameras captured the moment Kaehler was punched by the angry customer. He was scared off after his server that night pulled out her gun.

Miranda Schaefer

"I had to put two hands on the gun to show them, like, 'I am serious. You need to go,'" said Miranda Schaefer, former server/cook.

"He didn't even look at me when he punched me," said Kaehler.

Schaefer said the restaurant was filled with customers. Both women were working third shift. The suspect became impatient.

"He said 'I don't want to wait anymore. I want a refund,'" said Schaefer.

Schaefer went to her manager, Kaehler, to authorize the refund. The suspect followed -- and took his frustration out on Kaehler.

"My arm actually caught the fall from me going into the grill," said Kaehler.

What the suspect didn't know was Schaefer has a concealed carry permit. A day prior, the restaurant's owner allowed Schaefer to bring her gun for safety.

"Don't be afraid to go and get educated on firearms and get your license," said Schaefer.

Safety has been a concern at the 21st and Mitchell location, according to Kaehler. She said there are drugs and prostitution in the neighborhood.

Schaefer quit the night this happened, while Kaehler is still working there. The love she has for her employees and regular customers outnumbers what happened, she said.

"I don't want to see the place run into the ground. I want it to stay there, but the neighborhood has to change," said Kaehler.

The restaurant is getting a security upgrade. Kaehler said she hopes this incident opens the eyes of all restaurant owners to always strive to provide a safe work environment for their employees.

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