SALEM — The owner of a downtown Salem restaurant is facing charges after he allegedly went after a local blogger and former city councilor who had been writing about the restaurant's legal issues early Saturday.
Frandy Xiangfa Xu, 44, of 30 Leach St., Salem, the owner of Bistro 118, is due in Salem District Court Tuesday for arraignment on charges of assault and battery and assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, his shod feet, after he allegedly kicked Salem Digest blogger William Legault twice in the stomach, according to a police report.
Salem Patrolmen Daniel Musto and Wes Regan were parked on Washington Street at around 12:30 a.m. Saturday when Legault approached their police car to tell them what had just happened.
Legault told the officers he was inside Gulu Gulu, a restaurant that is adjacent to Xu's, on Washington Street when Xu approached him and grabbed him by the beard and began yelling at him about the posts Legault had written on Salem Digest.
Legault said he pushed Xu outside, into Town House Square, where Xu kicked him twice in the stomach, according to a police report.
Xu, who was still yelling when police approached him, acknowledged that he had been in what police called an altercation with Legault, according to the police report. Police say Xu was drunk. He was arrested.
Xu was later released on personal recognizance pending his arraignment Tuesday.
Last month Legault published a blog post about Bistro 118 being seized and shut down by the Massachusetts Department of Revenue over unpaid taxes. The restaurant, which was formerly known as Fresh Taste of Asia, has also been the scene of a number of incidents involving patrons fighting. Xu has also had prior charges of domestic abuse lodged against him.
Courts reporter Julie Manganis can be reached at 978-338-2521, by email at email@example.com or on Twitter at @SNJulieManganis.