Crime - Sacto 911

Man accused of attacking restaurant co-workers appears in Sacramento court

Princeton Melliza, 23
Princeton Melliza, 23 Sacramento Police Department

A newly hired dishwasher accused of injuring two co-workers during a lunch-rush rampage at an East Sacramento restaurant was arraigned Wednesday on a felony assault charge in the bizarre incident.

Princeton Melliza, 23, stood expressionless behind bars of a courtroom holding cell before Sacramento Superior Court Judge Jaime Román before pleading not guilty to a charge of assault with a deadly weapon in the alleged attack Monday at Hawks Provisions and Public House on Alhambra Boulevard.

Melliza’s next appearance will be Sept. 24 before Román. Melliza remains held in lieu of $50,000 bail at Sacramento County Main Jail where he has been since his arrest.

Co-workers told The Bee that Melliza repeatedly punched a restaurant server during a run for wood behind the building about 1 p.m. Monday before the server briefly subdued him with a chokehold.

One cook said Melliza’s face had taken on an “unearthly gray” pallor after the violent episode and that foam frothed from his mouth.

Employees said Melliza returned to the kitchen for a faceoff with the server, a floor manager and a restaurant chef who grabbed a pan to hold the dishwasher at bay. Melliza reportedly grabbed a long bicycle lock from a pants pocket during the standoff and attacked a pair of the employees with it, employees said.

The server received injuries to a wrist and the back of his head. The floor manager had a deep gash on the side of his head, a restaurant general manager said.

One cook said Melliza’s face had taken on an “unearthly gray” pallor after the violent episode and that foam frothed from his mouth.

Melliza was hired at Hawks about three weeks ago, said employees who described the man as quiet and polite.

Sacramento police said the alleged attack was unprovoked and said Melliza appeared to be under the influence of narcotics.

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