Robert A. Heinlein once advised “Never threaten a cook in his own kitchen,” and like many of RAH’s epigrams, this one holds true. Think about it: he’s on his home turf, surrounded by his tools that could turn you into shishkebab meat faster than you could learn to pronounce the word bouillabaisse.
It’s hard to improve on RAH, but in this case I might add “And stealing from him in his own kitchen isn’t much smarter.”
A midweek lunch diner chowed down on $64 of Unagi and California rolls at Chiba Sushi in Victoria, British Columbia. A lunch tab like that suggests either some very choice sushi or a very hungry customer. When said customer tried to dodge the tab and slip out the door, head chef Ivan Eng chased him down the street with his knife in hand.
From the Vancouver Sun:
Head sushi chef Ivan Eng chased after the man down Gorge Road East while staff called 911.
While carrying his sushi knife, he called out for passing drivers to call 911 and kept pursuit for several minutes, all the way to Manchester Road, where Victoria police arrived.
Officers arrested a man who is in his mid-30s and is a well-known prolific offender in the city, said Const. Rob Horne.
Eng told the police he had no intention of attacking the thief, but only wanted to follow him until police could catch him.
It’s nice to know that the dine-and-dasher was a prolific scumbag who got what was coming to him, but Chef Eng’s knife could have landed him in serious trouble with the law. Here in the U.S., shopkeepers are generally allowed to use reasonable force in detaining people suspected of shoplifting. Bringing or implicitly threatening deadly force, in the form of a kitchen knife, was not the best call.
Canadian police, however, made exactly the right call. The diner was hauled off to jail, and Chef Eng was sent back to work with a word of advice about not bringing a knife next time.