Assault charge against celebrity Austin chef Paul Qui dropped


Highlights

Prosecutor Fred Weber said he dropped charges on Monday because Qui’s former girlfriend declined to cooperate.

Qui had been charged with assault and unlawful restraint after a fight with his girlfriend.

Prosecutors have dropped misdemeanor charges against celebrity Austin chef and restaurant owner Paul Qui in connection with a March 2016 domestic disturbance.

With the case set for trial this week, special prosecutor Fred Weber abandoned charges Monday because Qui’s former girlfriend declined to cooperate.

“We’re very pleased that it’s finally over,” said Qui’s lawyer, Chris Gunter. “It was all an unfortunate misunderstanding that everyone regrets happened. Paul turned it into a positive experience and obtained some needed treatment. I think everybody has come out of this thing better.”

Qui, the Season Nine winner of the Bravo cable TV show “Top Chef” and past owner of his namesake restaurant, was charged with assault and unlawful restraint after a friend of Qui’s told police Qui was fighting with his girlfriend.

According to the arrest affidavit, Qui had blood all over his face, arms, legs and clothing when officers arrived at the Corazon apartments in East Austin.

The arresting officer reported that the apartment was “in complete disarray, and furniture and glass were broken” or turned over throughout the home.

Police found Qui’s live-in girlfriend inside the apartment clutching a small boy, the affidavit said. The woman told police that she had tried to leave the apartment but that Qui had stood in front of the door and pushed her away or to the floor each time she tried to go.

According to the affidavit, she said that Qui had invited some friends to the apartment the night before and that “they were all indulging in cocaine, Xanax, alcohol and marijuana.”

Qui, who was 35 at the time of the incident, admitted getting angry with his girlfriend and told police it was because she was flirting with his friends and had agreed to have group sex, the affidavit said.

The officer said he noticed that there was a “fresh cut on her right forearm and bruising on her upper arms” and that the right side of her jaw was slightly puffy and swollen, the affidavit said.

Qui, a James Beard Award-winning chef, owns the East Side King brick-and-mortar restaurants and trailers that serve Asian fusion cuisine in Austin.



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Local

Police looked at two other men before arresting Criner in UT slaying
Police looked at two other men before arresting Criner in UT slaying

Before the arrest of Meechaiel Criner, Austin police talked to at least two other men about the April 2016 death of University of Texas dance student Haruka Weiser. As Criner’s capital murder trial entered week two Monday, lead detective Anthony Nelson testified that officers were talking to a 44-year-old man who lived near campus on Red River...
U.S. judge defends actions as trial on Texas’ fetal burial law begins
U.S. judge defends actions as trial on Texas’ fetal burial law begins

A federal trial over the future of a Texas law requiring that fetal remains be buried or cremated got off to an unusual start Monday when the judge defended himself from a federal appeals court that had questioned his motives in the case. The dispute involved a side issue over a subpoena compelling the Texas Conference of Catholic Bishops to disclose...
Ernest Perales, trailblazer for equal education in Austin, dies
Ernest Perales, trailblazer for equal education in Austin, dies

Ernest Perales, a trailblazer for equitable education for Mexican-Americans in the Austin community, died Sunday. He was 73. Perales was a community organizer, a member of the League of United Latin American Citizens District 85 and a member of the GI Forum. In April 1972, he helped mobilize Mexican-American parents to create a group called Concerned...
Flooded Bastrop County Animal Shelter gets surprise relief
Flooded Bastrop County Animal Shelter gets surprise relief

It was a normal Monday at the Bastrop County animal shelter until a large truck, emblazoned with the signature red, white and blue H-E-B logo, pulled up. Last month, the shelter suffered $50,000 in damage after a water fountain burst overnight and flooded the facility with up to an inch of water across the floors and into kennel areas. It was...
Suspect’s gun ties neighbor’s death to shooting binge, Austin police say

Charles Curry, 29, and the man he is accused of killing, 32-year-old Christian Meroney, so far appear to be linked only as neighbors and by ballistics evidence found in their shared South Austin apartment building, according to court documents made public Monday. Investigators did not reveal a possible motive for Meroney’s shooting death in an...
More Stories