IHOP cook accused of kitchen assault

A cook at the Oak Harbor IHOP restaurant is accused of assaulting a fellow cook.

A cook at the Oak Harbor IHOP restaurant is accused of assaulting a fellow cook, allegedly punching the man hard enough to break his jaw and give him a concussion, according to court records.

Irvin Martinez Lopez, 26, appeared in Island County Superior Court Monday. Judge Christon Skinner found probable cause existed to believe Martinez Lopez may have committed the crime of assault in the second degree.

The judge set his bail at $5,000.

Oak Harbor police responded to a report of an assault at the pancake restaurant early in the morning of April 12. The 27-year-old victim said Martinez Lopez came into work upset and suddenly punched him in the face, the officer’s report states.

The victim said he and Martinez Lopez wrestled on the floor while two other employees tried to pull them apart. Martinez Lopez ended up on top of the other man and “hammer struck” him on the back of the head, the report states.

The officer later looked at surveillance video, which showed Martinez Lopez punch the other cook on the side of the face “with enough force to knock him into the grill,” the report states. The officer noted that the man looked like he was knocked out temporarily.

Another employee later drove the victim to the hospital, where an X-ray showed that he had a broken jaw. A doctor confirmed that he also suffered from a concussion.

The victim claimed that Martinez Lopez had been interested in a woman at work and got mad when the other cook warned the woman that Martinez Lopez was married.

Martinez Lopez, however, told the officer that he was just defending himself from three other men at work who had been ganging up on him, the report states.