A Pizza manager, Mahmut Yilmaz, 41, turned himself in to Pittsburgh Police and was charged with assault and aggravated assault late Saturday after a video of him beating up a black woman inside Pizza Milano surfaced.
According to some reports, the woman, who has now been identified as Jade Martin asked if she could use the restaurant’s restroom. But she was told that the restroom was only for paying customers, so she went ahead and bought soda. However, the manager, Mahmut, didn’t think that was enough and asked her to leave, but she refused.
As Martin tried to walk past him,Yilmaz grabbed her by the arm, pushed her up against the door, headbutts her, and takes her down, where he proceeded to bang her head on the ground over and over again. Yilmaz could be heard repeating “I said please!” as he kept banging her head against the ground.
Finally, some workers and customers rushed to the woman’s aid and managed to pull Yilmaz off her.
After the original video of the assault hit social media on Friday evening, it gathered over 700,000 by early Saturday morning. By 10am Saturday morning, protesters started gathering outside of Pizza Milano saying it should be shut down.
“We are in full boycott mode. The message here is this, it’s very simple: if you cannot respect our black lives in your business, then you can no longer have a business in this community,” protest organizer Nicky Jo Dawson is reported as having told the press.
Mayor Bill Peduto of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, said in a statement that he issued to the public on Saturday night: “It is my sincere hope that these charges are another step in sending a very clear signal that Pittsburgh will not tolerate violence against women and that we will work as a community to protect all women, and notably African American women, from physical and emotional violence” .
Protesters were at the Pizza shop from morning on Saturday till when the owner closed the shop at 6pm. It still hasnt reopened yet.
Days after the video went viral, the owner Semsi Yilmaz said in a statement Monday, that the manager has been fired. He said: “Pizza Milano has a 20-year history of being part of Pittsburgh’s Uptown community. That’s why what happened this past Friday is so disturbing to me, to our customers and to our employees. After reviewing the videotape, I immediately terminated the manager’s employment and condemn his actions in the strongest way possible. Regardless of what led up to the exchange, what he did goes against our policies and my beliefs. It’s not the way we run our business, and our customers need to know that. We have cooperated fully with the police investigation from the beginning and will continue to do so.”
Semsi Yilmaz and Mahmut Yilmaz are not related, according to a spokesman for the restaurant.
The restaurant has been savaged following the viral video, with in-person protests and hundreds of scathing online reviews condemning the manager’s actions.
Mahmut Yilmaz allegedly attacked Jade Martin, who suffered a concussion, according to her attorney Todd Hollis.
He is scheduled to appear before Judge Jeffrey Manning on Jan. 25.
Watch the video of the assault below: