South Portland police arrested a man and a woman following an attempted “dine and dash” at Imperial China over the weekend, saying the man used a hatchet and the woman a box cutter to threaten restaurant staff after trying to walk out on a $40 tab.
A third member of the group was issued a summons, police said in a statement issued Monday.
Bryan Frank, 39, of Portland pulled a hatchet from his waistband as he allegedly tried to walk out without paying around 5 p.m. Saturday, police said. Restaurant employees confronted Frank and one of the workers was pushed to the ground during a scuffle.
Michelle Choate, 23, of Pittston came to Frank’s aid, threatening the staff with a box cutter, police said. Customers from a nearby business saw the commotion and intervened. The good Samaritans successfully disarmed the suspects, and one of them sustained a cut in the process, police said.
Officers responded to reports of customers fighting with restaurant staff and arrived as the suspects were trying to leave. Imperial China is located behind Dick’s Sporting Goods north of the Maine Mall.
Frank was charged with robbery, aggravated assault, criminal threatening with a dangerous weapon and refusing to submit to arrest or detention. Choate was charged with robbery, aggravated assault, criminal threatening with a dangerous weapon and refusing to submit to arrest or detention. Both were being held at the Cumberland County Jail on Monday night.
Emma Alexandre, 28, of Portland was issued a summons for theft of services and released at the scene.