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Man charged after alleged attack inside local restaurant

Crime Watch

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POCATELLO — A local man who allegedly attacked the staff of a local restaurant has been charged with a felony.

Darion Tyron Vinson, Jr., 23, faces a charge of battery with intent to commit a serious felony, court records show. Additionally, he has been charged with misdemeanors for malicious injury to property and two counts of battery.

Pocatello police received a call around 8:30 p.m. Wednesday from an employee at the Mandarin House restaurant reporting an apparent domestic disturbance. The caller told police that a man and woman were arguing across the street, according to an affidavit of probable cause.

While officers were en route, the person called police again, reporting that the man, later identified as Vinson, had crossed the street and was headed toward the Mandarin House.

When officers arrived at the scene, Vinson immediately raised his hands and surrendered, the affidavit says.

In speaking with multiple victims at the scene, officers learned that the caller saw Vinson and a woman arguing across the street, prompting their original call. When Vinson saw the caller, they said he yelled “stop f***ing looking at me.”

So the caller turned to head back toward the Mandarin House, but realized Vinson was already headed in their direction.

Vinson came into the restaurant, the three victims said, and first attacked the caller. They described him throwing the caller down. With his left hand he squeezed the caller’s throat while attempting to strike them with his right hand.

The other two victims attempted to intervene, one grabbing at Vinson’s hand preventing him from striking the first victim. Then, Vinson refocused on the other two employees.

He first went after a person who had taken cover under a table in the restaurant, court documents say. But the person who had grabbed him earlier was able to once again stop him, this time while Vinson was attempting to lift the table the victim was hiding under.

Vinson at one point grabbed the victim’s leg and tried to drag them away, the affidavit says.

Surveillance video of the incident, posted to Facebook by Mandarin House, appears to show Vinson enter one of the restaurant’s dining rooms and stand over the first victim, who is already on the ground. The victim stands up and Vinson pushes them into a wall. After all three briefly leave frame, the victim runs back through the dining room as Vinson follows them, then throws a chair in their direction.

A second video shows the incident from the another dining area. It shows Vinson shove the first victim. He then returns and attempts to grab another victim, before returning to the other room to throw the chair.

During the altercation, police reports say that Vinson destroyed two porcelain figurines inside the restaurant.

When officers entered the restaurant, Vinson’s attack stopped instantly.

Vinson later told officers that he had been arguing with his girlfriend, and when he saw someone watching he “blacked out,” and could not remember what happened between then and the arrival of the officers.

The 911 caller, and first victim, told officers Vinson shoved them with two hands so hard they “flew backwards” and struck their head on the ground. They said they were “extremely concerned” about their safety during the attack.

Officers described red marks on the victim’s neck in the affidavit.

Mandarin House posted a thank you to the first responders who aided with the incident on Facebook. The restaurant also posted a brief description of the incident.

“We were all just cleaning, closing down the restaurant! After he went after the male staff in banquet room, he came after the female. She fell and (hid) underneath the table, screaming at top of her lung as the attacker was pulling her out by her foot, at the same time, Kevin was pulling him away from her, (to) distract him so she could run away.”

In addition to the charges connected to this incident, Vinson was also charged with a felony for possession of counterfeit currency, and a misdemeanor for petty theft by deception, according to court records.

These charges stem from a March incident in which a person reported to police that a man they knew as Darrin Vensin had used $620 in fake $20 bills to purchase an X Box.

The victim told officers that Vensin, the name the man used in a Facebook profile, contacted him about the game console. They said Vensin paid for the console, and that while they counted the bills then, they did not realize the bills were counterfeit until later realizing they said “Motion Picture Purposes” on the face of the bill.

They said that they attempted to contact Vensin, saying they would not contact police if he returned the console. But, the victim said, Vensin did not respond.

The victim provided officers with dashcam footage of the exchange and images from Vensin’s Facebook profile. Officers compared the images of “Vensin” to Vinson and determined them to be one and the same.

According to an affidavit of probable cause, the console was pawned shortly after the incident.

Vinson is currently being held at Bannock County Jail on two separate bonds of $75,000 and $10,000. If he does post bond, no-contact orders would also be issued, barring him from contact with the victims of the alleged battery.

Though Vinson has been charged with these crimes, it does not necessarily mean he committed them. Everyone is presumed innocent until they are proven guilty.

If he is found guilty, Vinson could face up to 20 years in prison for the battery with intent to murder, according to court records. He could also face as much as 18 years combined for all other charges filed.

He is scheduled to appear in court for a preliminary hearing on all charges before Magistrate Judge Scott Axline on June 21.

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