Victoria Police are investigating an allegation that a group of patrons received more than $600 from the manager of a Melbourne pub after a nasty confrontation led to the sacking of two staff members.
The incident happened at The Irish Times pub on Little Collins Street on Tuesday August 2. A bartender allegedly spat in 29-year-old Jimeone Roberts’ beer after he challenged a neo-Nazi tattoo on his right shoulder.
The tattoo in question is a Sonnenrad, or “sun wheel,” a symbol used by the Nazis in Germany and adopted by neo-Nazis and white nationalists ever since.
The Sun Herald reports pub manager Nitin Parashar, paid Mr. Roberts’ band $651 after allegedly threatening to leave negative reviews online and take legal action over the incident.
“A number of men are believed to have been involved in an altercation with a member of staff and subsequently made a number of demands of the business,” Victoria Police said in a statement.
“As the matter is currently being assessed, it would be inappropriate to comment further at this time.”
Images of the immediate aftermath of the alleged spitting incident shows a group of men confronting the bartender.
“I wish you would leave,” the bartender said.
“I want to have my say,” retorts one of the customers.
“Carry on. What do you have to say?” asks the bartender.
“You spat in the guy’s beer,” the customer says, which the employee recognizes with the word “yeah.”
“End of conversation. I don’t care if you don’t like what he wears, what he chooses in his particular life. At the end of the day mate, you spat in the guy’s beer .
“It was a lack of respect,” explains the bartender.
“Do you think it’s appropriate to spit in a guy’s beer?” said the man.
“If I went to work and started spitting in my boss’ face, do you think he’s going to accept that?” That makes me sick ?
“If it makes you sick, the bathroom is upstairs,” quips the bartender.
“So now you’re smart. You can’t help it,” says the client.
“Most Irish people know how to fight,” exclaims a second customer, alluding to the clerk’s Irish accent.
“I don’t know how to fight, man. I know how to get beaten up, ”replies the bartender.
“If you’re going to be smart and you’re going to spit in people’s beer, you might have to be able to save what you’re doing,” says the second client.
As the group of men prepare to leave, one of them asks what time the bartender’s shift ends. It also asks for the employee’s name and phone number.
“At the end of the day, it’s time for you to leave,” the employee said.
On Tuesday, the company posted an apology to customers on its Facebook page.
“The management of The Irish Times would like to take this opportunity to apologize to Jimeone Roberts and his friends Stefanos, Neil Erikson, Thomas Sewell and Ricky T for the incident which took place on August 2,” it said. he declared.
“Following the incident, the management of The Irish Times took immediate disciplinary action by dismissing the two employees involved in the event, which breached our Code of Conduct in the workplace.
“The Irish Times management team strongly disapproves of the unprofessional conduct of the ex-employee in spitting in the boss’s drink following a discussion with the boss on a political matter.
“As part of our commitment to providing the highest level of service to our customers, we will continue to insist that all staff must remain respectful to our customers at all times to avoid any future recurrence.”
In a subsequent statement released on Wednesday, the pub said it had “followed legal advice in taking disciplinary action” and stressed that it “did not want to be at the center of political opinions or matters”.
“We would appreciate your understanding and support on this,” he asked his followers.
News.com.au has contacted The Irish Times for further comment.
Roberts, Erikson and Sewell are all far-right figures.
Earlier this month a magistrate slammed Mr Roberts for putting up antisemitic posters in the streets of Melbournecalling his actions “the most disgusting, despicable and repugnant acts of anti-Semitism and racial behavior I have ever seen”.
Magistrate David Starvaggi also called his behavior “pure evil and vile hatred that has no place in modern Australian society”.
speaking to The Sun HeraldMr Roberts said the incident with pub workers was triggered by the tattoo on his arm.
“The bartender harassed me about a tattoo before starting a political discussion,” he said.
“He then asked, ‘Do you support multiculturalism?’ He didn’t like to hear the word “no” to that, so he spat in my beer during a national pandemic.
“He then refunded the beer, and the associates sued him through the owner of the establishment. As a result, he and everyone else who showed solidarity with the act was rightfully fired.
“As a white Australian I should be able to have a beer in any pub or bar in this country without my food or drink being contaminated because people disagree with my views. Imagine the hysteria if the roles in this situation were reversed.