CHELSEA – Two Chinese restaurant employees beat up a customer and one of them then used an 8,000-volt stun gun to burn him after he claimed they owed him about $1 in change, according to Port Authority Police.
Gary Zheng, 37, and Robert Zheng, 41, who both work at New Panda Restaurant at 570 9th Ave., punched the 35-year-old customer in the face and Gary burned him on the back of the neck with a stun gun after he bought something in the restaurant and confronted them for shortchanging him out of "a dollar or less," according to the police and court documents.
The customer entered the store shortly before 9:30 p.m. Wednesday, bought something from the menu and then began to argue with the staffers over his change, officials said.
The confrontation quickly turned violent as Gary Zheng, a cook who was still wearing his white apron during the brawl, joined Robert Zheng in pummeling the customer, who quickly ran out of the storefront with the duo in pursuit. They then attacked him in front of the restaurant, and Gary pulled out the stun gun and rammed it into the back of his neck, according to the police and the criminal complaint.
Port Authority Police Officer Katherine Acevedo, who happened to be in the area at the time, witnessed the attack and tried to intervene, ordering the suspects to stop, according to Port Authority Police spokesman Joseph Pentangelo said.
Instead, the pair tried to flee on foot but were both caught by Acevedo, Pentangelo said.
The stun gun was recovered at the scene.
The victim, who lives in Crown Heights, suffered bruising on his face, a burn to the back of his neck and was bleeding from his mouth and cheek, police said.
He was taken to Lenox Hill HealthPlex Hospital where he stayed a few hours, Pentangelo said.
The attackers were arraigned in Manhattan criminal court on Thursday and they were both released after each paying the $5,000 cash bail. They were charged with assault and criminal possession of a weapon, according to court documents.
Information on the suspects' attorneys was not immediately available.
New Panda restaurant declined to comment.