Police Still Searching for Suspects Who Beat Up Restaurant Owner Over Cold Chicken

Latasha M. Smith and Nathaniel Eric Smith are facing multiple charges in the attack on a restaurant owner and her daughter in Georgia, police say. (Baxley, Ga., Police Department)

Police are still searching for two people they say were caught on surveillance footage attacking a restaurant owner and the owner’s daughter over an apparent dispute over cold chicken late last week in Georgia.

According to WTOC, the incident started Thursday afternoon at the family-owned Qwik Chick takeout stand next to U.S. Highway 1, when owner Jeanette Norris handled a couple who had ordered two meals. According to the report, the couple complained that their chicken was too cold and that they didn’t get enough fries.


Norris checked the food and refunded the couple their money, but then things flew way off the handle, according to the report, with one suspect, identified by authorities as Latasha M. Smith, flying into a rage at Norris, repeatedly punching and slapping her in the face.

When Norris’ 15-year-old daughter walked up to intervene, the teen was punched in the face by the other suspect, identified as Nathaniel Eric Smith, authorities say. The punch sent the teenager off her feet. The couple then disappeared as people who, in the footage, appeared to be employees gathered around to comfort Norris’ teen daughter and look for help.

“I’ve been here, what, 41 years—30 of them as chief. I have never seen anything like this. I’ve never heard of anything like this,” Baxley, Ga., Police Chief James Godfrey said of the assault, which police are describing as a completely unprovoked attack.

EMS was called to the scene, and both Norris and her daughter received medical attention. Norris suffered a broken nose in the attack, while her daughter suffered bruises and a concussion.


Norris said that she’s dealt with unruly customers before, but nothing remotely like this has ever happened to them. Norris said that she had gone outside to tell the couple the police were on the way, when Latasha Smith flew at her.

“She went berserk. They both lost it, him and her both; started cussing and beating on the window,” Jeanette Norris said.


As Norris staggered out of view of the surveillance camera, her daughter, who was sitting in a truck outside the restaurant, exited the vehicle, presumably to help.


“One of my employees yelled, ‘He’s got her,’ and that’s when I realized he had hit her,” Norris said. “Who does that? Who punches a child like she’s a grown man standing there? He needs putting under the jail.”


“The security-camera footage that we put out tells it all. That’s just pure brutality,” Chief Godfrey added

Both suspects left the scene in a cream or silver 2007 Cadillac Escalade with license plate No. REU8495. Officials say the couple have access to another two vehicles, including a silver 2004 Cadillac Deville 4S, with the Georgia tag No. PVK5483, and a green 1996 Cadillac Deville 4S with the Georgia tag No. BXQ1673. The Smiths have active warrants out for aggravated battery and cruelty to children, authorities say.


Police are asking anyone with knowledge of the whereabouts of the suspects to contact the Baxley Police Department.

Read more at WTOC.

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Breanna Edwards

News Editor at The Root, animation nerd, soca junkie, yogi