RALEIGH — A 21-year-old Raleigh man has filed a criminal summons against a bartender who he thinks threw him out of a Glenwood Avenue bar because of his race.
The summons orders Todd Chriscoe to appear in court to answer accusations of simple assault and ethnic intimidation. Jonathan Wall, who requested the summons, says Chriscoe grabbed his wrists and forced them behind his neck, making him walk for some distance in that position, and then pushed him to the ground at the Downtown Sports Bar early on June 17.
Wall, who is black, accused Chriscoe, who is white, of singling him out because of his skin color.
Police served Chriscoe with the summons on Tuesday but did not take him into custody. The summons was issued by a magistrate who ordered Chriscoe to appear in district court on July 23 to respond to the accusations.
Wall is bound for graduate school at Harvard University in the fall. His account of his treatment at the bar was posted on a blog early last week, igniting a social media frenzy that resulted in Wall and his attorney appearing on CNN, among other places.
Social media uprising
Supporters created a Facebook page on Wall’s behalf, which has garnered more than 4,300 members, some of whom are planning a protest on Moore Square in downtown Raleigh on Saturday.
Management at the bar referred questions to its Raleigh lawyer, William Potter, who denied that any racial discrimination, assault or violation of state ABC laws occurred at the bar – in Wall’s case or at any time.
“I can acknowledge that he was escorted out, but the final reason was he was not a member or a guest,” Potter said. “It would be foolish for this business to say ‘We’re not going to serve black people.’ That didn’t happen.”
Potter said he will not represent Chriscoe regarding the criminal summons because he represents the bar and does not do criminal cases.
Chriscoe’s criminal attorney, Bill Young of Raleigh, refused comment Wednesday.
Previous law trouble
Chriscoe has had legal problems in the past, including two driving while impaired convictions in Wake County in 1990 and 2008 and in Carteret County in 2004 and 2006, state records show.
He also was convicted in Wake County of communicating threats in 1990, assault and battery in 1994, refusing to pay a taxi in 2005, urinating on a city building in 2000 and a misdemeanor probation violation in 2008. A judge ordered Chriscoe to seek drug treatment at the Healing Place in Wake County as a condition of his sentence for the probation violation, state records show.