Man Accused Of Beating Up Witness Inside Restaurant

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(Memphis) A fight broke out in a restaurant between an attempted murderer and a man helping prosecutors put the accused behind bars.

That suspect is now behind bars.

He's not charged with beating the witness up, but he still faces a list of charges from a 2010 aggravated robbery that the witness testified against earlier this year.

The fight happened at the Cheddars Restaurant on Germantown Parkway.

Police say Marcus Dotson attacked a waiter who is a witness in an aggravated robbery and attempted murder case against Dotson.

Police say Dotson grabbed a dinner knife and tried to stab the waiter in the back.

According to investigators, Dotson slipped out of the Cheddars and ran down Germantown Parkway.

He wasn't caught until earlier this week, a month after the restaurant ruckus.

“This was going on while people were eating and enjoying their meal? Why would they do that stuff when there`s kids around?” expressed James Harris.

Harris calls the meal melee crazy, but says it won’t stop him from taking his toddler to the restaurant, “It could happen anywhere at any place."

By phone, the owner of the Cheddars location told us, 'It's an unfortunate isolated incident. Luckily no one was seriously hurt."

Shelby County District Attorney Amy Weirich also calls this attack, and other attacks against witnesses, rare.

“We certainly don't want to send the message that people can’t come forward and do the right thing. When defendants try to stop witnesses from doing the right thing, the justice system needs to address that."

Weirich says the strongest message she can send for attacking a witness is six years behind bars.

Dotson heads to trial for the attempted murder and robbery next month.

He could face additional charges for what happened at the restaurant.