A delivery man was hospitalized when two men who placed a food order beat him and grabbed the dinners after refusing show their credit card. Police response has not been proportionate to the injuries, the restaurant owner said.
Wei Zhu, who has been a delivery man for eight years for Panda’s Restaurant & Bar, was assaulted by two men in their 20s in an apartment on Lemmon Avenue Monday night while attempting to make a delivery, according to Panda’s owner, Chan Foong.
Wei was beaten on the head and back; his arms were bruised; and he was brutally punched in the face, leaving welts and broken blood vessels in his eye. He was fitted with a neck brace and kept overnight at Baylor Hospital. But so far, the assailants have received barely a slap on the wrist.
And it all arose because of a refusal to show a credit card when Wei delivered the food order.
On Aug. 8 at 8:43 p.m., a phone call came in to Panda’s, the familiar Chinese food restaurant on Cedar Springs Road, between S4 and JR.’s Bar & Grill. The voice on the other line placed an order for food to be delivered. Chan took the call, and asked for a credit card number to confirm the order. The caller said he didn’t have a one.
At 8:50 p.m., another call came from a different phone number, but Chan recognized the voice as the same person. This time, the caller gave a credit card number for the $35 order. Wei was dispatched to take the order to 2828 Lemmon Ave.
Wei got to the door, entered the gate code, rang the apartment and was told to come to the second floor. At the second floor, there was another locked door. He saw two men in their 20s coming to open it. Wei then asked for the credit card.
To avoid being scammed by the use of stolen credit card numbers, the restaurant’s bank requires that drivers see the actual card. Chan said that if the person doesn’t have the physical credit card with them, showing a copy of a bill is sufficient evidence. What’s needed is for the customer to prove ownership of the card and that the number has not been stolen.
“Why do you need my credit card?” one of the men asked.
“I need a copy of your credit card,” replied Wei, a native Chinese speaker whose English is clear enough to have gotten him through eight years of deliveries at Panda’s.
“I don’t have a credit card,” the man said.
“You don’t have credit card, you don’t have food,” Wei said.
The other man then grabbed the bag of food while the first man punched Wei in the eye. Wei tried to get back the bag, but the first man continued to pummel him.
Wei headed down the stairs, but the assailants followed him. Wei called 911 to report the attack. The men were still assaulting him while he was on the phone with police. At one point, he got the bag back but the men took it from him again and threw it across the floor.
“Two people fighting me,” he told the 911 operator. “Somebody help me.”
During the fight, he was hit in the head and on the back. He had injuries on his arm as well. When asked to describe the men later, Wei made a “muscleman” pose.
Police came and an ambulance arrived at the scene. EMS checked Wei’s vital signs, but because his blood pressure was normal, they didn’t transport him to the hospital.
Police took an incident report and the two men were issued a ticket, but not charged with assault, according to Wei. Police told Wei’s family that the two men told a different story in which Wei started the fight and attacked them.
“That makes as much sense as someone coming into my restaurant,” Chan said, “and instead of seating them, I hit them.”
Following the incident, Wei called Chan to request assistance. When Chan arrived, he saw Wei was dizzy as well as badly bruised. He drove him to Baylor where he was admitted for observation overnight and his injuries tended.
According to a summary of the police report sent to Dallas Voice, when officers arrived, they separated the parties.
“The disturbance was over the payment of food being delivered to, two individuals at the call location,” according to the report. Despite obvious physical trauma to
Wei, because no “independent witnesses” observed the incident, “all parties were released.”
According to the police report summary, both sides gave contradicting reports of what happened. Although the case is officially still open and under investigation, no additional activity has been communicated.
Chan believes what happened was apparent and he’s retained an attorney to help recover medical expenses and Wei’s lost income while he recovers.
This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition August 14, 2015.