PITTSBURGH - A former Pittsburgh pizza shop manager has been found not guilty of assaulting a woman inside his restaurant.
Video of the altercation involving Mahmut Yilmaz and a woman went viral and sparked protests against Pizza Milano in Uptown.
Yilmaz was charged with slamming Jade Martin to the floor and pounding her head against it after she refused to leave the establishment.
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A jury of 10 women and two men, none African-American, returned the verdict Wednesday afternoon after requesting to see surveillance and cellphone video, as well as Martin's medical records.
“It's hard to describe how disappointed we are with the verdict," said Martin's attorney, George Kontos. "I think anyone who saw the video and viewed it fairly could only describe what happened to Jade as a brutal attack.
"Our intention now is to continue to fight for her. If anything, as a result of this verdict, our resolve is even stronger to pursue justice on her behalf."
Yilmaz's attorney said the video didn't show the entire encounter.
"He lost his patience. He's not Job. He's a human being," said James DePasquale. "She comes into his face with a phone and is yelling at him, taunting him, just totally belligerent with him."
He said the jury saw and understood the entire encounter.
"There wasn't a person in that jury who couldn't understand why he lost his patience and in terms of putting his hands on her and getting physical with her, under Pennsylvania law, there's total justification for that," he said.
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