Hooters Restaurants likes to promote their orange-hotpanted waitresses with the provocative tied-up teeshirts as, “delightfully tacky yet unrefined.” The slogan might be applied to its security guards too, if a fiesty grandma gets her way. After disputing an errant appetizer on her bill from a Chicagoland Hooter’s, 54-year-old Livier Torres was manhandled by off-duty Oak Lawn Police Officer Joseph Schmidt as she tried to pay. Part-enforcer, part-social engineer (Schmidt reportedly told Torres daughter, “All you people are the same” in an apparent reference to their Mexican heritage.), the fearless crime fighter called for back-up against the marauding grandma — when a headlock and pinning her to the ground wouldn’t suffice. Despite a paucity of video evidence, a Cook County judge sentenced Torres to 200 days in Cook County Jail’s maximum security unit for spitting on the officer. Not to be outdone, Torres (who happens to be a paralegal, too) triggered her own lawsuit from jail, suing the City of Oak Lawn, Hooters, and Joseph Schmidt for battery and false imprisonment. She’s asking for $280,000.00.
I think Livier might have a good case among jurors who can see. The surveillance video seems to support her contention that she never battered or spit on the off-duty officer as he claims, and the force used by the foodie foot solider looks out of proportion to these eyes.
Hooters, for their part, thinks the best tort defense is a good offense pointing out that, ” a full review of the security video and the testimony of several eye witnesses was enough to convict the plaintiff of crimes including assault and resisting arrest.” Officer Joseph Schmidt continues his duties on the Oak Lawn PD unfazed. Rumor has it he’s welcome to wings at Hooters anytime (just joking, of course, there officer!).
In a PR move that should be taught in marketing classes from coast to coast, Livier Torres was asked to sign the credit card receipt as she sat handcuffed in the squad car.
You can watch the beat down for yourself:
Source: CBS News
–Mark Esposito, Guest Blogger
9 thoughts on “Delightfully Tacky Yet Unrefined: Hooter’s Security Roughs Up Granny Over Bill”
OK, you can’t see the video from the link because it was removed thanks to “complaints from third parties.” Third parties? That would be (a) the officer and (b) two hooters.
But if you go to YouTube and put in “Hooters Beating Torres” you will see the following:
1. Torres does not threaten anybody and does not try to run out without paying the bill;
2. The officer pushes forward into her physically, giving her less than 2 inches of space while he towers over her in a threatening manner.
3. She continues to look non-threatening although she seems animated, possibly by fear and/or insult;
4. Then clearly, her arms and hands are doing NOTHING AGGRESSIVE while he grabs her by the hair, smashes her face and head, mauls her, pushes her and strikes her.
5. No “spitting” action can be seen on the video. Perhaps she screamed and the officer believes some spray hit him from her. But he got so close to her that such an event could hardly be avoided if a woman is being attacked and beaten violently around the head and face.
SHAME ON HOOTERS 100%. I hope they take a huge beating for this. Shame on that judge who convicted Torres; he was obviously just a corrupt judge trying to make this harder for Torres to sue for her rights. I hope he gets drummed off the bench in a storm of outrage and then gets disbarred. He can go to work as a busboy at Hooters.
Where can i get this cops phone number.
200 days in jail for battery? For (allegedly) spitting? What kind of kangaroo courts are they running in Cook County? The video clearly shows the cop escalated what had been up to that time a purely verbal altercation.
Cook County taxpayers should also ask: do you want your tax dollars wasted incarcerating Ms. Torres?
Here’s another point: if a municipality allows its police officers to work security “off-duty”, isn’t it cloaking them with their public authority? I mean, the cop is wearing a t-shirt that says “POLICE” in big letters. Towns could bar their employees from doing “off-duty” security work. The liability should be as extensive as the apparent agency. At the very least, if the town wants to avoid liability, its off-duty cops should have no more leeway than a civilian bouncer and should be instructed thus.
And finally: no judge should have the power to sentence anyone to jail for more than a week unless the defendant is extended the right to a jury trial.
I loved how the other patrons went after him as soon as he stopped beating the lady. Guess he wasn’t quite as all-powerful as he thought.
Next time that asshat Schmidt tries to manhandle a grandma?
I hope she’s taken Aikido for thirty years and just beats the snot out of him.
It wouldn’t be justice per se, but it would be karma . . . and really funny watching him explain to his Bull friends how he got the bruises.
It seems to me like her civil suit will be dismissed under Humphrey v. Heck on the grounds that the judge found her guilty. Maybe she can get out from under Heck because the police officer was working for Hooter’s, but I doubt it. It would be nice if Professor Turley chimed in on this one.
Wow, a restaurant where the waitress only get two to three tables at a time…..
“out of proportion? This bigfatsteroid cop put this short woman in a headlock. The woman judge actually allowed the charges to stand and sentenced her to 200 days. This doesn’t deserve your foolishly jocular commentary. That judge should be kicked off the bench and the drugged-up cop sent off to a permanent drug camp.
The off-duty cop escalated that confrontation by getting in her space. He was looking for a fight.
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