WINTER HAVEN, Fla. (WFLA) – A Winter Haven restaurant worker who was seen on video in a terrifying meat cleaver attack against the restaurant’s owners will face a Polk County judge Thursday on attempted murder charges.
Investigators with the Polk County Sheriff’s Office say Zheng Shan and Jia Dong, who are the owners of the China Park restaurant on Cypress Gardens Boulevard, had hired Zhong Huang, 28, as a temporary employee through an agency in New York.
He had been working for the couple for two days and Shan wanted to offer him a permanent position with the restaurant.
Investigators say when Shan requested his identification so she could complete the paperwork to begin the hiring process, Huang got upset and began yelling at Shan. He refused to give the identification and that’s when Dong stepped in and told Huang to leave the restaurant.
Huang continued to argue. He was more outraged when he was told to leave and that the police would be called if he didn’t leave immediately.
Investigators say when Dong turned to go to the front of the restaurant, Huang picked up a meat cleaver and began swinging at Dong, striking him in the neck and yelling that he was going to kill both Dong and Shan.
Shan ran to help and Huang began swinging the cleaver at her striking her in the hand. She attempted to get the cleaver from him, but investigators say Huang pinned her head to a counter and they continued to struggle.
Ultimately, he let go of the cleaver and told the couple that if they call police, he would come back and kill them when he got out of jail, according to investigators. He then left through the front door of the restaurant.
Neither Dong nor Shan suffered serious injuries.
Shan called 911 and when police arrived, they located Huang at the back door of the restaurant. He was taken into custody without incident. Shan and Dong were both treated at the scene by EMS personnel for cuts and scrapes.
Huang was booked into the Polk County Jail on charges of Attempted Murder 2nd Degree (F2) and Tampering in Felony Second Degree Proceeding.