Man charged after alleged attack at local restaurant
POCATELLO – A local man who allegedly attacked staff at a local restaurant has been charged with a felony.
Darion Tyron Vinson, Jr., 23, faces a charge of assault and battery with intent to commit a felony, court records show. Additionally, he was charged with misdemeanor malicious trespass to property and two counts of assault and battery.
Pocatello police received a call around 8:30 p.m. Wednesday from an employee of the Mandarin House restaurant reporting an apparent domestic disturbance. The caller told police that a man and woman were arguing across the street, according to a probable cause affidavit.
As officers were on their way, the person called police again, reporting that the man, later identified as Vinson, had crossed the street and was heading towards the Mandarin House.
When officers arrived at the scene, Vinson immediately raised his hands and surrendered, the affidavit states.
While speaking with several victims at the scene, officers learned that the caller saw Vinson and a woman arguing across the street, prompting their initial call. When Vinson saw the caller, they said he yelled, “Stop looking at me.”
So the caller turned to head back to the Mandarin House, only to find that Vinson was already heading in their direction.
Vinson entered the restaurant, the three victims said, and attacked the caller first. They described him throwing the appellant to the ground. With his left hand, he squeezed the caller’s throat while trying to hit them with his right hand.
The other two victims attempted to intervene, with one grabbing Vinson’s hand preventing him from hitting the first victim. Then Vinson refocused on the other two employees.
He first attacked a person who had been hiding under a table in the restaurant, according to court documents. But the person who grabbed him earlier was able to stop him again, this time as Vinson tried to lift the table the victim was hiding under.
At one point, Vinson grabbed the victim’s leg and attempted to drag her, the affidavit states.
Surveillance video of the incident, posted to Facebook by Mandarin House, appears to show Vinson entering one of the restaurant’s dining areas and standing over the first victim, who is already on the ground. The victim stands up and Vinson pushes her against a wall. After the three briefly leave the frame, the victim runs back through the dining room as Vinson follows them, then throws a chair in their direction.
A second video shows the incident from the other dining room. It shows Vinson shoving the first victim. He then returns and attempts to grab another victim, before returning to the other room to throw the chair away.
During the altercation, police reports indicate that Vinson destroyed two porcelain figurines inside the restaurant.
When officers entered the restaurant, Vinson’s attack stopped instantly.
Vinson later told officers he had a fight with his girlfriend, and when he saw someone staring at him, he “passed out” and couldn’t remember what happened. had passed between that moment and the arrival of the police.
The 911 caller, and first victim, told officers that Vinson pushed them so hard with both hands that they “flew backwards” and hit their heads on the ground. They said they were “extremely concerned” about their safety during the attack.
Officers described red marks on the victim’s neck in the affidavit.
Mandarin House posted a thank you to first responders who assisted with the incident on Facebook. The restaurant also released a brief description of the incident.
“We were all cleaning up, closing the restaurant! After chasing the male staff into the banquet hall, he came after the woman. She fell and (hid) under the table, screaming at the top of her voice as the attacker dragged her by the foot, at the same time Kevin pulled her away from her, (to) distract him so that she can run away.”
In addition to the charges related to that incident, Vinson was also charged with a felony for possession of counterfeit money and a misdemeanor for minor theft by deception, according to court records.
These charges stem from a March incident in which a person reported to police that a man she knew as Darrin Vensin used $620 in counterfeit $20 bills to buy an X Box.
The victim told officers that Vensin, the name the man used in a Facebook profile, had contacted him about the game console. They said Vensin had paid for the console, and that while they counted the bills at that time, they hadn’t realized the bills were counterfeit until they later realized they said “Motion Picture Purposes” on the front of the bill.
They said they tried to contact Vensin, saying they would not contact the police if he returned the console. But, the victim said, Vensin did not respond.
The victim provided officers with dashcam footage of the exchange and images of Vensin’s Facebook profile. Officers compared images of “Vensin” to Vinson and determined they were identical.
According to a probable cause affidavit, the console was pawned shortly after the incident.
Vinson is currently being held in Bannock County Jail on two separate bonds of $75,000 and $10,000. If he posts bond, no contact orders would also be issued, prohibiting him from any contact with victims of the alleged battery.
Although Vinson was charged with these crimes, that does not necessarily mean that he committed them. Everyone is presumed innocent until proven guilty.
If convicted, Vinson could face up to 20 years in prison for battery with intent to murder, according to court records. He could also face up to 18 years combined for all other charges filed.
He is due in court for a preliminary hearing on all charges before Magistrate Judge Scott Axline on June 21.