• Police: Pizza shop manager didn't think he hurt woman in altercation

    Updated:

    Two people have been charged after a violent incident at a Pittsburgh restaurant on Friday night.

    According to police, Mahmut Yilmaz and Jade Martin were involved in a “violent altercation” at Pizza Milano on Fifth Avenue in the Uptown neighborhood. 

    The incident between Yilmaz, a manager at the restaurant, and Martin was caught on camera, and the video quickly spread via social media.

    Mahmut Yilmaz

    According to the complaint, Martin, 34, told police she had been drinking at a nearby bar before deciding to go home. She missed her bus, however, and tried to enter the restaurant to use the washroom.

    Witnesses told police Martin was yelling on her phone before entering the restaurant and asking them for money for a ride home. One of the witnesses, who apparently was an employee of the restaurant, notified Yilmaz of Martin's behavior.


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    When Martin tried to enter the restaurant, Yilmaz, 41, told her she wasn't welcome there, witnesses told police. When she was refused entrance, she redoubled her efforts to enter.

    That's when the video starts. At one point, she pushes past Yilmaz, who grabs her by the arm and pulls her back by the entrance, where he pins her against the doorframe. After a few moments, the video shows him appearing to headbutt Martin.

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    Yilmaz told police his head moved forward only after his foot slipped, and he wasn't sure if his head hit Martin or the doorframe.

    After that, Yilmaz and Martin tumble to the floor, where he appears to be holding her by the hair or head and hitting her head on the floor while saying "Please."

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    Yilmaz told police he was trying to "gain her attention" and didn't believe her head was hitting the floor. Martin told police she didn't remember much after the headbutt and has been "very foggy" since the incident.

    Martin told police she was diagnosed with a concussion.

    "The unique thing about video is that the video speaks for itself and his actions were clearly demonstrative," said Martin's attorney, Todd Hollis. "His violent behavior and demeanor was unwarranted."

    Yilmaz turned himself into officers Saturday, police said. He is facing charges of simple assault and aggravated assault.

    Channel 11's Shelley Bortz spoke with Martin's mother about the incident. 

    “I’m heartbroken,” said Darlene Wall, Martin’s mother. “That man could have murdered my daughter in this restaurant, and he is not even in jail."

    RELATED: Protesters demand closure of pizza shop where altercation took place

    Hollis said Martin has a large bruise on her forehead and she has a severe concussion and a bruise on the front of her head.

    "She's a mother of two, and from what I saw on the video, she didn't do anything to deserve this type of treatment or this level of violence," Hollis said. 

    Martin told Channel 11 on Sunday that her head was still hurting and she's trying to spend time with her family.

    Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto released the following statement on the incident:

    "This morning I was made aware of the deeply disturbing video from Milano's Pizza. I have worked through the day with Pittsburgh Police leadership and charges have now been quickly brought. I want to thank the community for their assistance in the investigation, and the Pittsburgh Bureau of Police for their hard work throughout the day. 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." 

    Martin is being charged via summons with defiant trespassing and disorderly conduct, according to police.

    Several people held a protest in front of the restaurant on Saturday, and local activist groups are advocating for a boycott of Pizza Milano following the altercation.

    The Black Political Empowerment Project (B-PEP) and the Greater Pittsburgh Coalition Against Violence (CAV) issued a release Sunday laying out their stance on the incident and the restaurant.

    In the release, the groups said they will no longer “order food or services” from Pizza Milano as a result of the “outrageous, disrespectful, and unacceptable treatment” of Martin. 

    B-PEP encouraged a boycott of the restaurant because their coalition “opposes violence against all people.”

    The release called for respect to be given to all people, and the groups are encouraging prosecutors to pursue the charges against Yilmaz “fully and vigorously.”


     

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