By Jim Clark
A reported case of disorderly conduct by a drunken customer brought police to El Potro restaurant at 61 Union Sq. on Thursday evening, just past midnight.
A restaurant employee met with officers as they arrived and pointed out a man, later identified as Mario Rodriguez, 33, and said that he was the problem.
Officers approached Rodriguez for questioning, but he reportedly ignored their inquiries and failed to produce identification. He reportedly made exaggerated hand gestures and told them loudly that his identification was left at his home.
When asked to turn towards a wall and submit to a search, Rodriguez reportedly complied at first, but then turned quickly, causing officers to restrain him. After a brief struggle Rodriguez was handcuffed.
The manager of the restaurant reportedly told police that Rodriguez had been inside and began shouting at other customers for no apparent reason.
Rodriguez was escorted outside by restaurant staff, according to reports, and since it was closing time the doors were locked. Police were told that Rodriguez made his way back into the building by damaging the front doors, whereupon he commenced to pick a fight with one of the employees.
Some glasses and other items were reportedly broken in the skirmish.
Based on witness accounts, Rodriguez was placed under arrest and charged with felony nighttime breaking and entering and destruction of property over $250. Warrant charges of resisting arrest, assault and battery on a police officer, and disorderly conduct were also booked at the time of arrest.