Second helping on baker story

The Brooklyn Paper
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Herve Poussot: Assaulted or assaulter? Let’s review the new evidence!

Last week, I reported on a $1.25-million discrimination lawsuit against the DUMBO baker for allegedly kicking a black woman out of his shop on Feb. 15.

I also reported that four days later, Poussot got into a physical confrontation with the woman’s employer, who had gone to Almondine to demand an apology, and was later arrested for assault.

Poussot believes the discrimination suit was filed in retaliation for that man’s assault arrest.

The saga continued this week, when the arrested man, Sean Richardson, e-mailed me to “set the record straight.” That was welcome news for me. See, although he and Poussot seem to be telling the same story, their strands are as twisted as the dough in an Almondine braided brioche.

Poussot’s lawyer, Ralph Hochberg, claims that when Richardson and the woman, Elaine James-France, entered Almondine to demand an apology, Poussot did indeed give one, albeit quarter-heartedly. He then asked James-France and Richardson to leave.

But on his way out, Richardson “started throwing tables and chairs around and damaging Mr. Poussot’s property,” said Hochberg. Poussot had no choice, he said, but to tackle Richardson to the floor to put an end to the destruction.

But Richardson bakes a different pie.

“From the moment we entered the store, [Poussot] was belligerent and confrontat­ional,” said Richardson, adding that Poussot screamed, “You want an apology? Fine! I’m sorry! Now get the f—k out of my store!” Richardson denied he wreaked havoc and destruction on Almondine.

“I turned to leave, and there was a chair in my way,” said Richardson. “I was angry. I knocked it over. But I wasn’t throwing furniture around.”

In fact, said Richardson, it was Poussot who started the fight, tackling him from behind and shoving him to the ground.

“I defended myself,” Richardson said.

When cops arrived a few minutes later, Poussot was bleeding, so they arrested Richardson.

So that’s evidence of Richardson’s guilt, right? Not at all, he countered.

“I was wearing a ring,” he said. “When I went to defend myself against Poussot’s attack, the ring must have cut him.”

I asked Richardson how he could conclusively say that Poussot had thrown James-France out of Almondine because she’s black and middle class, and not because, say, it was 6:30 pm and close to closing time. Or because she bought a croissant at Almondine, yet brought coffee in from somewhere else, as Poussot claims. “That’s for the jury to decide,” he said.

That’s fine, but the journalist in me is hoping for another irate e-mail so I can keep following this nutty story.

Herve? Text me!

The Kitchen Sink

Kudos to the New York Sun for pointing out what all of us have been complaining about for years: the lousy elevators at the Clark Street subway station. The Sun reported that the three elevators have broken down nearly 400 times in the last two years. Riders have been trapped inside more than 20 times. So now maybe we’ll finally get some elevators that work? …

The New York Landmarks Conservancy honored a Brooklyn Heights building this week. The restoration of the façade of 25 Grace Ct. was cited as an “outstanding preservation project” for its detailed restoration of the masonry and brick, and several wooden elements around the door, windows and balcony that had rotted away. …

Oven, the new pizza place/wine bar that is opening on the dreaded “Corner of Cranberry,” has pushed back its grand opening for a few more weeks. The new joint was supposed to open on May 5. …

The new path in Cadman Plaza Park is nearly finished. Here’s hoping the manure smell that permeated the park this winter, when the Parks Department laid down fertilizer, has dissipated.

Updated 4:28 pm, July 9, 2018
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