DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM)- Those who witnessed a disturbing scene on Wednesday night have now come forward to accuse a Dallas pizza restaurant manager of torturing a homeless customer. According to those witnesses, a 61-year-old man was beaten before their eyes for allegedly not paying a bill. And when the police arrived, they arrested the allegedly homeless man.
The incident happened outside the back door of the Pizza Lounge, located across from Fair Park.
“We heard someone screaming out back,” said witness Chris Hall. “We weren’t sure what was going on.”
Hall and fellow witness John Beach were at a nearby bar when they decided to see who was doing all the screaming. “The moaning was getting louder and louder,” Beach said.
Hall, Beach, and other witnesses saw a man who police have identified as 61-year-old Hermilo Aguilar. He was naked and being hit repeatedly by a man with a pipe. “He was hitting pretty hard. It was surreal,” said Donna Ausmus-Laursen, another witness. “We had a fence between us. We were yelling vocally over the fence, ‘What the hell are you doing?’”
According to police, Aguilar is homeless and had ordered around $17 worth of food using someone else’s credit card. A police report says that Aguilar attempted to leave, but was instead taken by the restaurant’s owner or manager to the back of the location, where Aguilar was then “struck with a light weight pipe” and ordered to “completely disrobe.”
“It’s like vigilante justice,” said Hall. “It looked like torture to me.”
“The guy hit him again and made him take his pants off, and he was completely naked and in a ball,” Beach added. “It was like something out of a Turkish prison.”
While the witnesses could not believe what they were seeing inside the small fenced area, they were even more shocked when the police arrested the homeless man who was receiving the beating. “I think that guy that did the beating should be in the back of the cop car, not the homeless guy,” said Beach.
The police report even says that the man with the pipe admitted to assault because he “was sick and tired of this type of thing happening at his business.” CBS 11 News approached the restaurant for a comment, but received clear instructions to leave.
Meanwhile, the Dallas Police Department said that the restaurant manager could still face charges. “After the witness statements are taken and the investigation concludes, the owner may very well be arrested for aggravated assault,” said Sr. Cpl. Janice Crowther with the Dallas Police Department. At least three other witnesses are being interviewed by the police.
Aguilar remains in the Dallas County Jail with severe bruises and abrasions on his entire body.