A video uploaded Wednesday to Youtube shows Mike Buckley, owner of Ram’s Chicken Shack in Davenport, kicking out a customer at knifepoint after the two engaged in a violent behind-the-counter brawl.
The clip begins with Buckley — wearing a black, long-sleeved t-shirt emblazoned with the words “American Fighter” — trading blows with a larger unidentified individual behind the restaurant’s service counter. The fight continues for about 40 seconds before Buckley walks back into the food preparation area and retrieves a kitchen knife.
At this point, Buckley repeatedly shouts, “What, motherfucker?” while approaching the customer with knife in-hand. Retreating toward a corner, the customer says “I’m good” several times before Buckley slashes the knife in his direction. It’s unclear from the video if the knife makes contact, though the customer lets out an audible yelp.
The video ends with a red-faced Buckley escorting the customer out at knifepoint, shouting, “Get [unintelligible] going before I fucking stab you in your fucking throat.”
The incident occurred on Wednesday, Jan. 21, authorities say.
When reached by phone, Buckley said he was fearful during the altercation.
“I protected myself,” Buckley said. “I protected my business, and I was getting the gentleman out of the establishment. I was fearful. I didn’t know if he was going to rob me, or if the other guy that he was with was going to assault me as well.”
Buckley says the customer and videographer were acquaintances, adding that the incident took place after the two entered the restaurant together and initiated a verbal confrontation. After an exchange of words, one of the customers walked around the serving counter, at which point the fight turned physical, according to Buckley.
“I really don’t know if he was intoxicated or not,” Buckley said. “Fortunately, I’ve been trained in hand-to-hand combat through the military, and I was able to protect myself somewhat.”
“I was scared,” he added. “The reason why the knife got brought out is because there was two of them in my store, not just one.”
Buckley says he called 911 immediately after the incident took place and has been cooperating with police in the mean time. “I hope they catch those guys,” he said.
The Davenport Police Department says it is aware of the video and has initiated an investigation into the incident.
“The initial investigation along with evidence is being forwarded to our Criminal Investigation Division for follow up investigation,” wrote Davenport Police Capt. Paul Sikorski in an email to Little Village. “This is considered an open investigation and further information can’t be released at this time.”