Buffet Customers Arrested After Brawling Over Crab Legs, Jousting With Serving Tongs

Navigating a busy buffet line can be a bit of a challenge, especially when there's a bottleneck of people waiting around for a fresh tray of something...

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Navigating a busy buffet line can be a bit of a challenge, especially when there's a bottleneck of people waiting around for a fresh tray of something. The proper etiquette, of course, is to politely wait your turn, then grab some when it's your turn, and move on. Otherwise, you risk ruining things for everyone else, as a couple customers at an Alabama buffet did last week when a tiff over crab legs erupted into an all-out brawl, and even involved a ridiculous sword match with serving tongs. 

In what shall henceforth be known as the Alabama Crab Leg Melee of 2019, a couple of diners at the Meteor Buffet in Huntsville, Alabama last Friday night got into a spat over who had been waiting longer for a fresh batch of crab legs to come out, and the situation quickly got physical. A woman started beating a fellow customer, plates were shattered, and yes, tongs were used like swords in what some described as a fencing match. 

"Everyone was saying, 'They cut me in line. She cut me in line. He cut me in line. I was here first,'" Gerald Johnson, a Huntsville police officer who happened to be eating there at the time, told WHNT News."They'd been waiting there for the crab legs for a good 10, 20 minutes. When they finally came out, it's very heated. Especially if someone is taking more than their fair share."

Eventually, Johnson intervened, and arrested the two brawling individuals, who've been identified as John Chapman and Chequita Jenkins. Chapman, who got cut on the head during the ordeal, was cited for disorderly conduct, and Jenkins faces third-degree assault charges. They both could end up paying a few hundred bucks in fines. 

Hopefully, everyone has learned to keep their tongs to themselves from now on.

h/tNBC News


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Joe McGauley is a senior writer for Thrillist. Follow him @jwmcgauley.