NORTH MIAMI, FLA. (WSVN) - An afternoon shift at a South Florida restaurant ended in a trip to the hospital for a server after, police said, he was stabbed by a customer who thought he had been poisoned.
North Miami Police released the disturbing surveillance video of the stabbing that took place at the International House of Pancakes at 12875 Biscayne Blvd., Friday, at around 3:30 p.m.
The server, identified as Carlos Schlatter, is seen walking down an aisle and turning a corner. Moments later, the subject, identified as Gene Hicks, is seen getting up from his seat and approaching the victim.
“The moment that the victim walks by him, the suspect gets up and attacks him from behind,” said North Miami Police Cmdr. Rafael Estrugo.
The footage shows Hicks apparently stabbing Schlatter once. Both men then move out of the frame as startled customers are seen staring in horror and fleeing from their tables.
Police said Hicks then stabbed the victim several more times. “He yelled at the victim as he was stabbing him and attacking him,” said Estrugo. “He was yelling, ‘You poisoned my food.'”
Meanwhile, surveillance cameras captured frightened diners sprinting through the restaurant’s parking lot.
“That’s crazy insane,” said an IHOP customer when a 7News reporter showed her the video of the stabbing.
Investigators said Hicks had eaten at the IHOP prior to the attack. According to the victim’s family, the suspect had ordered pancakes and complained about a foul smell. He was then moved to another table.
Police said Hicks later returned to the restaurant, and that’s when he confronted the server.
“It’s horrible. It’s a very scary situation,” said Estrugo. “As you can imagine, you are there with your friends and family. Even children are there seeing, running out of the establishment, and this guy is just attacking the waiter.”
Police said Hicks was wielding a four-inch knife when he stabbed Schlatter. He was later caught and placed under arrest.
Schlatter was transported to Aventura Hospital, where he was treated for gashes to the stomach and arm. He has since been released and is currently recovering at home.
No one else was hurt.
Schlatter’s family told 7News he has 14 stitches on his arm and an open wound in his stomach. They added that he has been working at the North Miami IHOP for three years.
Estrugo said the victim is “very fortunate” he was not more seriously injured. “In situations like these, when you get stabbed multiple times, it’s definitely fortunate that he’s alive and well.”
Hicks has been charged with aggravated battery with a deadly weapon. He has an extensive rap sheet, and at the time of the attack, he was out on felony bond for a case that stemmed from him committing battery on a person 65 years of age or older, according to county records.
Hicks is being held on $10,000 bond.
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