Irmo town councilman charged with third degree assault

COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - A Midlands man says he suffered bruises to his chest and arms when he was attacked by his boss, the owner of a well-known Columbia restaurant.

Tracy Allsbrook, 49, claims the assault happened April 13 at Mac's on Main in downtown Columbia.

Allsbrook says the injuries occurred during a confrontation with Barry Walker.

In addition to owning the restaurant, the 52-year-old Walker is also a musician and a member of the Irmo Town Council.

A Columbia Police incident report shows Walker is charged with third degree assault and battery.

In the report, Allsbrook says the altercation began during a dispute with Walker over whether a customer had paid a bill.

Allsbrook, who had recently been hired as a waiter, says Walker began shouting and using profanity.

Both men say the dispute developed after a busy day for the restaurant, which had been packed with customers attending the "Love, Peace and Hip Hop" festival in the downtown area.

Allsbrook says as the argument escalated, he took off his apron and put it along with receipts and cash on the bar and attempted to leave. He says Walker stopped him and pushed him up against a wall, striking him several times in the chest.

"I was scared for my life," Allsbrook said.

Walker says there was contact between the two, but it was the result of limited space in a narrow hallway at the rear of the restaurant. He claims Allsbrook had not followed proper procedure in accounting for the day's revenues before leaving.

Allsbrook denies taking any money, but in an interview, the longtime restaurant owner and frontman for the band "Fatback and the Groove Band" accused his former employee of breach of trust.

Allsbrook told police April 13 he wanted to go to a hospital for his injuries, but could not because Walker had blocked Allsbrook's vehicle with his van.

An officer told Walker he had no legal right to detain Allsbrook.

Police say Walker then demanded to speak to a supervisor. A CPD corporal arrived and told Walker to move the van.

Allsbrook says he went to Providence Hospital and his injuries were photographed.

The report shows Walker was served with a courtesy summons May 10, with a court date scheduled for June 5.

Allsbrook says Walker has since asked for a jury trial.

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