By Jessica Bagley
The Tonawanda News
Tonawanda News — TOWN OF TONAWANDA — Just a few weeks after he accused town police of racial profiling, restauranteur Jim Ying was back in town court Wednesday evening to plead not guilty to charges of second-degree strangulation and second-degree assault.
Ying, the owner of Ying's Wings and Things on Eggert Road in the Town of Tonawanda, was arrested after he allegedly attacked an employee at 10:15 p.m. Tuesday night at the restaurant, Capt. Joseph Carosi said.
An anonymous caller notified police of the incident.
"The victim was standing near the front counter of the business when Jim told him to do something," Carosi said. "The victim said, 'I can do it in a minute, or 'hang on, it can wait,' or something to that effect. It apparently made Jim very upset.'"
Ying reached around the 26-year-old victim from behind, putting him in a choke hold. The victim told police that he lost consciousness, and he landed on the floor, suffering a cut to the back of his head.
Carosi said seven other employees were in the restaurant at the time of the incident, but that none of them were able to provide any further information.
"They all said that they didn't see the altercation," Carosi said.
The victim was transported to Kenmore Mercy Hospital and the wound was stapled shut, Carosi said. The victim, who police are not identifying, was released after treatment. Ying was taken to the police department and charged with strangulation, a felony, and the assault charge, a misdemeanor.
He was held to see the judge Wednesday evening, and Justice Daniel Cavarello set $5,000 bail. Ying was transferred to the Erie County Holding Center and is set to be back in court on Monday for a felony hearing.
After the arraignment, an employee of Ying's said that he is planning to close the Tonawanda location.
Ying's Wings and Things plans to close the restaurant on December 16 and auction off the assets, according to Cash Realty & Auctions. The auction will be held at the restaurant's location at 2309 Eggert Rd in Tonawanda on December 27 at 10 a.m. and will include restaurant equipment, furniture and decor.
The business will likely merge with Ying's other location in Depew, and the company will continue takeout and delivery orders.
The news comes after a number of incidents at the Tonawanda restaurant.
Ying was just in town court on Monday, when he pleaded not guilty to criminal nuisance. The charge was levied against him on Nov. 17 after a shooting outside the restaurant injured one person.
The shooter has not been arrested.
The charge was the fifth criminal nuisance charge Ying has faced since he began holding Saturday night college parties for patrons 18 and older in September, which he has since stopped hosting.
Between 100 and 150 students attended the non-alcohol events, which were hosted by promoter 100 Entertainment. Ying said the vast majority of those who attended the events were African American and said the town police department were discriminating against both his patrons and his employees.
Chief Anthony Palombo denied the accusations.
Contact reporter Jessica Bagley at 693-1000 ext. 4150, or follow her on Twitter @JessicaLBagley.