Waffle House dust up

Staff Written Front Page, News

Officers arrive to find men on the floor, arrests made

By Patrick Yost

Two men who allegedly hurled racial slurs at a group of high school students at Waffle House were arrested Oct. 2 after fighting with the students.

According to Madison Police Department reports, Eric Lee Cook, 38, Madison, was charged with disorderly conduct, public drunkenness and DUI. Robert Mitchell, 38, Madison, was charged with disorderly conduct, public drunkenness and interference with a business.

Reports state that at 11:51 p.m., Cook and Mitchell entered the Waffle House at 1941 Eatonton Road and requested a table. A manager told the men that there was no table available, in part, said Det. Wes Thompson, because of COVID-19 precautions at the restaurant. Both men, reports state, cursed at the manager and demanded to be seated at an empty table.

A customer at the restaurant also told police that the men cursed at him and his children, who were seated inside the restaurant. When the “high school kids” entered the restaurant, reports state, Cook and Mitchell allegedly called them a racial slur “and began approaching them in an aggressive manner.”

“Prior to arrival,” reports state, “dispatch advised that both Mitchell and Cook had been knocked out and were laying in the floor.”

The customer who had been seated in the restaurant told officers that the “kids started defending themselves and eventually knocked both Cook and Mitchell to the floor.”

When officers arrived, the kids were gone and Cook was still on the floor and Mitchell had gotten into a booth. “It was apparent that both were extremely intoxicated,” reports state.

The “high school kids” had left, reports state.

Thompson said officers had obtained video surveillance of the incident from the Waffle House and were attempting to identify the kids to “get their side of the story.”

During an inventory of the vehicle Cook and Mitchell used to drive to the restaurant, officers found a Glock 43 9mm handgun and a Marlin .22 rifle.

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