Café Plate Assault Suspect Sprints from Court Following First Hearing


Accused of a volatile outburst at a café, Stacey Graham Whaanga Waitoa, who reportedly sent plates hurtling towards staff over a holiday surcharge, bizarrely darted away post his first court appearance. Waitoa is at the helm of four serious charges, the most prevalent being common assault.

An alleged incident at a café, located southwest of Brisbane, early this year featured Waitoa purportedly directing a verbal tirade at the service staff. The turbulent episode saw plates airborne, one barely missing the owner in its trajectory.

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Waitoa’s wayward behaviour was allegedly captured during the Ekka public holiday at Whisky Business cafe in Capalaba. Amidst the pandemonium, he is believed to have launched two plates at the staff, subsequent to his verbal onslaught. The footage shows onlookers gradually closing in to intervene after the dishware was dispatched.

The bone of contention seems to be a perceived overcharge on food prices when a 15% holiday surcharge was instituted at the café. Waitoa, aged 48, made a brief appearance at Cleveland Magistrates Court on Tuesday, whereupon his lawyer called for a later adjournment to late October. Following this, Waitoa made an unexpected escape, avoiding media stationed at the courthouse vicinity post this deliberation.

Waitoa’s charges encompass attempted common assault, common assault, wilful damage, and committing public nuisance. During Tuesday’s court hearing, the court mulled over bail conditions to ensure Waitoa refrained from making contact with the complainants.

His lawyer, Michael Mapp, expressed his client’s difficulty in maintaining a certain distance from the business located on Old Cleveland Rd, as it lay on his regular commute route. Mr Mapp predicted his client would require “some time” to find an alternative route.

The court, presided over by Magistrate Patricia Kirkman-Scroope, suggested a basic no-contact directive along with an instruction to steer clear of the business to be more manageable. In response to the proposed restrictions, Kirkman-Scroope commented, “It’s not a domestic violence matter. These people might be witnesses though.”

Waitoa is set to appear in court again on October 31st, with no requirement for his presence during the proceedings. Post the court proceedings, Waitoa notably sprinted away from the judiciary premises in order to dodge media personnel awaiting outside.

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