As we’ve already seen, disputes over the exact meaning of the phrase “all you can eat” have led to protests and lawsuits. But things got so bad between two diners at a Pennsylvania Chinese restaurant’s buffet that one of them has been sentenced to house arrest.
The incident, which occurred last summer in East Lampeter Township, PA, just recently made its way to trial, where witnesses shared the full details of what we have decided to call the Crab Leg Calamity of Lancaster County.
The dispute began when one diner, a 48-year-old former Marine, admittedly took all eight remaining crab legs from the buffet while people were in line behind him.
“I cleaned it out,” he testified in court. “You got to get in line pretty quick.”
The customer reportedly told those who complained that the restaurant would be bringing out more crab legs soon.
But that didn’t stop a woman in line from allegedly making rude comments to him.
“She was making references to my weight and me being a pig,” said the man.
That woman’s 21-year-old boyfriend then approached the man at his table, where the older man says the boyfriend was behaving ” like a raging maniac” and threatened to hit him.
He admits to reaching out to calm the younger man down, though lawyers for the defendant say their client was shoved, thus provoking what came next.
The younger man allegedly punched the other gentleman in the face, tackled him into a buffet station and then continued to punch him in the face.
“You couldn’t have felt more demoralized,” he testified. “I wish I would have just given him my crab legs.”
It only took the jury a few hours to find the younger man guilty of simple assault and disorderly conduct. The next day, the judge sentenced him to three months of house arrest for his crimes.
“I learned my lesson,” the defendant said at sentencing. “I should never have said anything. I should have just taken my plate of food — crabs or not — and sat down.”
Testimony: Man assaulted because he took all the crab legs at buffet [LancasterOnline.com]
Crab legs assailant sentenced [LancasterOnline.com]