July 11, 2013

Two arrested in Oyster Pub brawl

Rachel Brown

— Two men involved in an altercation at the Oyster Pub in Rocky Face were jailed and released after a brawl witnesses said involved several men and the owner.

Dewayne Demease, 37, of 1502 Riverbend Road in Dalton, was charged Friday by the Dalton Police Department with simple assault. Jesse Kendall Couch, 24, of 156 Wild Rose Drive in Chatsworth, was charged Friday by the Dalton Police Department with battery. Couch said in an interview he is actually a victim in the incident and that Demease came to his rescue. He said he went to Hamilton Medical Center with a concussion.

According to an incident report from the police department, Oyster Pub owner Rafeek Mughrabi saw Couch push a man in the pub and told Couch to leave. While they were outside, Mughrabi told police, Couch began fighting with another man and hit Mughrabi in the face and head while Mughrabi was trying to break up that fight. Demease attacked him while he had hold of Couch, Mughrabi said.

Couch, however, said Mughrabi asked his party to leave just long enough for him to kick out some men who came up to Couch’s table trying to start a fight. While they were waiting outside, Couch spoke to another man about what had happened and Mughrabi came up behind him and put him in a choke hold, Couch said.

Demease said in an interview he came to Couch’s rescue because Mughrabi was hitting Couch in the head with a metal bar while several other men beat up on him. The report states Mughrabi had some scratches and cuts on his face and arms and that Couch had to be taken to the hospital. Couch said he received eight staples in his head.

Couch and Demease said they are awaiting a date to appear in Whitfield County Superior Court and plan to contest the charges. A message left for Mughrabi on Wednesday wasn’t immediately returned.