A Reedsburg man was charged with two counts of strangulation and battery early Friday morning after choking a person because he wanted a seat inside Milio’s Sandwiches.
At approximately 2:30 a.m., two men came into Milio’s, located at 540 University Ave., and were angered they were unable to sit down, according to Joel DeSpain, spokesperson for the Madison Police Department. The first perpetrator then proceeded to yell and started “making a scene.”
When a 23-year-old Madison man confronted the perpetrator to calm him, the perpetrator slapped the victim across the face with an open hand, reached for the victim’s neck and started choking him, DeSpain said.
“The victim said he was choked between 25-30 seconds and couldn’t breathe,” DeSpain said. “His girlfriend’s right there hitting the guy who’s choking the boyfriend and [the perpetrator] finally releases his grip.”
At the same time, a friend of the victim, 22, of Madison, tried to intervene but was punched in the head by suspect Jan Rabine, 29, of Reedsburg, who then put the victim in a chokehold, according to the incident report.
Rabine told the victim’s girlfriend, “You’re lucky I don’t hit girls,” DeSpain said.
DeSpain added there is no indication the perpetrators were intoxicated, but they were working in collaboration with one another. He added both of the perpetrators took off, fleeing from the restaurant simultaneously.
Officers located Rabine on the 400 block of West Gilman Street where he was placed under arrest, according to the incident report.
“We really don’t have any comment because what we witnessed, I believe, happened mostly outside of the restaurant,” the management at Milio’s said.
The management, who wished to remain unnamed, added these types of incidents usually happen outside of bars and restaurants, so they are not too uncommon at their establishment. They said they do not think an incident of this caliber has occurred in one of their establishments before.
The 22-year-old victim suffered redness to the neck and soreness to the throat from being choked, according to the incident report. He also had a small abrasion on his head. The 23-year-old victim had a scrape on his neck from being strangled.