Teenage Cheddar’s host beaten by angry customers, police search for suspects

A teenage restaurant host was beaten by angry customers Sunday night in Memphis after their group of eight was split into two tables. (Source: WMC)
Published: Jul. 25, 2023 at 11:17 AM CDT|Updated: Jul. 25, 2023 at 11:03 PM CDT

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - A teenage restaurant host was beaten by angry customers Sunday night. Memphis police are now searching for the people responsible.

Officers responded to the assault at 8 p.m. at the Cheddar’s on 2147 Germantown Parkway.

The manager of the business told police that two suspects were upset over the customer service and focused their attention on the victim.

The victim, Omarion Ford, did not want to interview on camera but he and his family allowed us to use his name and pictures to show what happened to him.

“You never know if they’ll probably come back,” said Omarion. “They’ll probably kill me if I come back. Anything.”

The 17-year-old had only been working for about a month as a host at Cheddar’s Scratch Kitchen when he says he was attacked by a group of people over seating arrangements.

He says he has since quit his job at Cheddar’s in fear for his life.

“It took me 10 applications to find a job,” said Ford. “And then for somebody to come in the restaurant and jump me for no reason? It was wrong what they did.”

Omarion says a family of eight came in and after hearing they’d have to wait an hour for a table, another family member suggested they split up.

The party was seated, but Omarion says they were unhappy with the table and left.

He says the group came back minutes later and another table’s cancellation allowed them to be seated together.

But Omarion says after a woman with the group confronted him about why they weren’t seated there originally, things took a turn.

Omarion says a man with the group punched him in the face. He says he hit back in self-defense, and that’s when the group began attacking him.

“That’s how he was when I got there,” said Omarion’s mother, Latisha Ford. “He was unconscious.”

Latisha and other family members rushed to Cheddar’s after being informed about the incident.

She says her son had to be treated by paramedics and was taken to the hospital. Video shows the chaotic aftermath inside.

“It’s very hurtful because not only did they do this to him,” said Ford, “[but] they are adults and it was a group of people. They could’ve killed my son.”

Now that Omarion is out of the hospital, he and his family want those responsible to face the consequences of their actions.

“My nephew is traumatized and he doesn’t deserve that. All he wants to do is work,” said Omarion’s aunt, Starmetrius Ford. “He has his twelfth-grade year coming up and all he wants to do is prepare for college.”

No arrests have been made.

Memphis police say they’re looking for a White GMC Denali.

“I do feel like they need to catch [them] and whatever consequences behind that, then they’re going to have to deal with it,” said Omarion. “Because you should not have put your hands on me.”

Omarion’s mother says they spoke with company officials, who offered them food in response.

The restaurant’s owner released the following statement about the assault:

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