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Cody Umbel, the son of and an employee of Bandolero owners Jonathan and Bethany Umbel, has been charged with felony assault for allegedly punching one of the restaurant’s food runners in the face.
The incident allegedly took place at Bandolero around 2 a.m. on Oct. 6. According to a police affidavit and an interview with Y&H, the food runner, who’d worked at Bandolero since its opening, says he sat down at the restaurant’s bar with a buddy after his shift. The two were commenting to each other about the type of music that Umbel, who was DJing, was playing. The food runner, who asked not to be named, says Umbel overheard the conversation, walked over, and said, “What the fuck are you talking about?” Umbel then asked the food runner to go outside with him. “I thought he said, ‘Do you want do go talk outside?’ I didn’t really understand. I was like, ‘OK.’ I didn’t think anything of it. I didn’t think he was going to do anything,” the food runner tells Y&H.
Once outside, Umbel allegedly punched him a few times in the face. The food runner fell to the ground, where he says Umbel continued to punch him in the face. His friend, an unnamed witness in the police affidavit, also told police that he saw Umbel punch the food runner as the two men reached the doorway of the restaurant. He also saw the food runner bleeding from the nose. The witness said that as the man fell and another witness tried to help him up, Umbel punched him again.
The food runner told police (and also told Y&H) that he became disoriented and lost consciousness. The next thing he recalls is being back in the bar, being treated for his wounds, and seeing Umbel leaving. Police were then called to the scene, and he was transported to George Washington University Hospital. The food runner says he had a black eye and a shattered cheek. He had to get four stitches on his forehead as well.
Umbel is now being charged in D.C. Superior Court with assault with significant bodily injury. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for Dec. 16.
Y&H reached out to Cody Umbel at a phone number listed for him on the police affidavit. He hung up almost immediately and did not respond to another phone call. Jonathan Umbel declined to comment.
Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Administration spokeswoman Jessie Cornelius says her agency is also investigating the incident. A hearing was scheduled for today, and a report should be available tomorrow. Altercation aside, Bandolero does not have an entertainment endorsement which would allow it to have a DJ, but the police report says Umbel “is the DJ for the location.”
The restaurant’s liquor license is already under threat from a protest by the landlord, who has also been trying to evict the restaurant for unpaid rent and a series of other grievances. The restaurant also lost its chef and frontman Mike Isabella back in July. Read a more in-depth account of Bandolero’s troubles here. Take a look at the complaint and police affidavit below.
Photo by Jessica Sidman