By Jim Hagerty
PEORIA — It wasn’t the special day a Peoria grandmother had in mind when a fight broke out during her birthday dinner Sunday, March 18.
Instead of leaving Golden Corral full of smiles and gratitude, the unnamed woman dodged flying chairs and took cover from the mayhem of an all-out brawl that erupted before her very eyes.
According to the Peoria Journal Star, “all hell broke loose” during an argument between four men. Witnesses say someone eventually got pushed, which escalated the incident into a move-screen free-for-all. Dishes, cups and silverware were also chucked and food was flung everywhere.
Glass from a guard that protects the buffet line was shattered and its frame destroyed. Carpet in the dining area was ripped and an airborne chair punctured two holes in a wall.
Two people were hit in the face with chairs. One victim suffered a cut on the chin, the other was gashed near the left eye.
Terrance Jones told police he was keeping to himself, celebrating his grandmother’s birthday when at around 7 p.m., two men tried to engage him in a fight. Surveillance video showed two men approach the party and caught what appeared to be an argument. Chairs soon started flying but it was unclear by the footage who hurled the first piece of furniture.
Golden Corral patrons and staff attempted to break up the fight but were unsuccessful. By the time workers and onlookers intervened, the four men were throwing “anything they could get their hands on.” A witness told police that one of the suspects threatened to hit her if she got involved.
Jones, 31, was charged with battery, disorderly conduct and mob action. Thirty-seven-year-old Kendrick Jones was charged with aggravated battery, assault, disorderly conduct and mob action. Kendrick Jones has since posted bond. Terrance Jones remains lodged in the Peoria County Jail as of this report.
Other arrests are possible. Several people reportedly scattered when officers arrived on the scene. Video footage is currently being reviewed by investigators to identify other suspects. Total damage to the Golden Corral was estimated at $1,700. R.