Portland police seek group allegedly responsible for fight in Mexican restaurant


El Azteca Mexican Restaurant

PORTLAND, Tenn. (WKRN) — Portland police are on the lookout Tuesday for a group of people who reportedly started a fight in a Mexican restaurant, then allegedly fired a shot outside the restaurant.

Nobody was hit, and now authorities want to talk to the diners allegedly involved.

Police said it happened Sunday night at the El Azteca Mexican Restaurant on Main Street. Police said a group became irate after an older man in the group was asked to show his I.D. for an alcoholic beverage.

Kelly Melvin works at the restaurant. He didn’t witness the events of Sunday Night, but Melvin said he talked to many of his co-workers about what happened.

He showed News 2 where the group of eight adults and a child were seated at multiple tables.

“The main people causing the problem was the gentleman here,” he says pointing to a table. “And from what I am told and a lady sitting right here too,” he said pointing to another booth.

The 21-year-old employee said tensions boiled over after staff asked a man in the group to show his I.D.

“I think it is crazy that people think they can disrespect any one like that when it is state law.”

After loud and boorish behavior, Melvin said his bosses asked the group to leave.

“Finally my manager says get out. We can’t have you causing this much ruckus. We are a family restaurant. They are cursing. They are slinging things. etc. They walk out and almost break our front door slamming it so hard.”

Melvin said the female waitress working the group was very upset.

Melvin said, “Their waitress was crying. She is like what the heck is going on. This is a family restaurant.”

According to police, things boiled over after a senior member of the group protested having to show I.D. for an alcoholic beverage.

Melvin said, “And then they kept causing trouble the whole night and they asked for my manager and my manager told them to get out. And on the way out, they are yelling political statements. I’m like, really you have to yell that in the middle of the restaurant while everyone is trying to eat.”

As the group was leaving, Melvin said his boss confronted someone about the forcefulness used on the door.

“So, my manager says hey guy and someone swings at my manager. Like literally two other people went out there to break up the fight and those two people were getting hit in the middle of the action because of this family.”

Melvin said an older woman in the crowd also hit several people, including a female waitress.

“Yes, she got hit in the face right here. She had to have an ice pack. She said it hurts to eat or drink cause it was literally a cheap shot right here.”

That’s when Melvin said someone in the group fired a shot in the parking lot.

It is unclear where the gun was aiming at the time the bullet discharged.

But police did recover a bullet in the parking lot as part of the investigation.

Melvin said, “From what I heard, I don’t know if it was a gunshot at them or a gunshot up to break up this fight, but there are like six people in t his fight. it was a serious little thing.”

Right now, the police are reviewing the video.

Portland police told News 2, at least some people in the group left in a black Chevy Z71 pick up truck.

If you have any information contact Portland police (615) 325-3434.

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