Restaurant patrons at Madison Park Kitchen (MPK), 7525 Madison St., came to the rescue of a woman who was being attacked by a knife-wielding man on May 1 at 1 p.m.
When police, who responded to multiple calls of a stabbing at the location, arrived on the scene, they saw several MPK patrons holding the suspect, Mitchell J. Simmons, Jr. They observed a steak knife handle and a bent and broken blade next to it on the ground. The victim, they were told, had run out the back door of the restaurant.
According to the police report, the victim has an active order of protection against Simmons, whom she previously dated.
Witnesses, including family members of the victim, said the victim and her family were at MPK sitting around a large table and eating when Simmons entered the restaurant and “proceeded at a fast pace” toward the table, according to the police report.
The family members began screaming and telling the victim to run, but before she could get away, Simons grabbed her by the throat and began choking her, according to the report.
Witnesses said he then began grabbing around in his pocket, apparently looking for something. A witness was able to grab Simmons’ hand and punched him, and the victim broke free.
Someone yelled that Simmons had a gun, at which point many patrons fled the restaurant but several, according to the police report, attempted to come to the aid of the victim, who had once more been grabbed by Simmons.
Simmons allegedly grabbed a steak knife from his waistband, which witnesses say was not broken at that time. He struggled with a restaurant patron, during which the knife blade was bent. He managed to get away and once more grabbed the victim, choking her and stabbing her several times in the back, side and head, according to the police report.
Because the blade of the knife was now bent, the injuries were relatively minor, and eventually the blade broke completely off the knife.
He threw the victim to the ground, knocking over tables and patrons in the process, and lay on top of her, choking her on the ground.
Witnesses said they thought the victim, who lost consciousness, was dead.
According to the police report, several unknown restaurant patrons grabbed Simmons at this point, holding him until police arrived.
The victim regained consciousness and, with several family members, fled out the back door.
Simmons was arrested. A set of brass knuckles was found in his right front pocket. It is not the first time he has violated the order of protection, according to the police report.
He was charged with attempted murder, aggravated domestic battery/strangulation and violation of an order of protection. He was taken to bond court on May 3.
Simmons allegedly knew of the victim’s location through a Snapchat photo she posted, not knowing it gave away her location.
The Review spoke briefly with a manager at MPK over the weekend, who said that seeing restaurant patrons step up to help was incredible. She said she would be in contact with the Review to provide more details from the restaurant’s point of view.