FREMONT, Calif. (KTVU) - A patron is badly beaten after getting into a fight with a man he said was verbally attacking employees at a Bay Area Denny’s. Fred Ibonie is now recovering from serious injuries. The fight happened at 2:30 a.m. at the Denny’s on Mowry Avenue in Fremont.
The 35-year-old said he can barely talk, eat, even drink water after he said he tried to do the right thing and stick up for Denny’s employees.
“I don't like seeing people treated that way especially people who work in the same business as I do,” said Ibonie. “We get treated badly by people all the time.”
Ibonie had finished his shift as a waiter at the Smoking Pig Restaurant in Fremont. He went to the Denny's on Mowry Avenue for a late-night dinner around 2:30 a.m. Sunday.
He was in the lobby when he said he witnessed a man being verbally aggressive to the workers. Ibonie initially thought the man was a Door Dash delivery driver. Police later said the suspect does not work for Door Dash.
“(He) was angry they weren't taking care of him straight away,” said Ibonie. “I mean it's Denny’s at three in the morning,” said Ibonie. “I feel for the people who have to work there and deal with that.”
Ibonie said he spoke up.
“I just yelled out dude calm down,” said Ibonie. “They will get to you when they can. It’s Denny’s. Come on now.”
Another patron chimed in. Ibonie stood up and that's when he said the man came out swinging, repeatedly punching him in the face.
“I never raised my hand,” said Ibonie. “I never said a threatening word to him other than calm down.”
Ibonie said the attack lasted seconds. The man took off. Ibonie's mother rushed him to the emergency room at Washington Hospital.
“Hey don't yell at people and you get your face smashed in,” said Fred’s Mother Paula Ibonie. “My heart is broken. I just can't believe that happened to him.”
Ibonie suffered a fractured nose and palette. Two of his teeth were knocked out. Ibonie described the man in his early 20's.
Denny’s sent a statement that said in part, “We are shocked by the violence that took place. We are looking into the details of this unusual situation and the status of our guest that was injured.”
As for Ibonie, he now regrets his decision especially since he doesn't have insurance.
“I’d much rather be able to go to work tomorrow and now have to worry about how to pay to get my teeth fixed or going to the emergency room last night,” said Ibonie.
Ibonie is planning to press charges once the man is identified. Police are hoping to obtain video from other businesses to find the suspect's car.
A GoFundMe has been set up to help with Ibonie's medical bills.