Eatery owner faces charge

A Hermosa restaurant owner has been charged with battery for allegedly striking another man with a thrown object. The man who was struck had a heart attack and died shortly afterward, police said.

Authorities investigated the possibility of a murder charge against Nael Yousef Diab, 50, owner of Poulet Du Jour on Pacific Coast Highway. The Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office declined to charge him with murder, and instead the city prosecutor filed a charge of battery, police said.

Reached at his restaurant, Diab referred questions to his attorney.

“My client has been in business in Hermosa Beach for years, he is very well known, and he looks forward to going to court and having all these charges dismissed,” said attorney Michael Norris.

Norris said he had not seen police reports on the case and could not discuss it in detail.

Police said witnesses told them the incident began when Amr Ahmed Ramadan, 42, of Los Angeles, was sitting outside a restaurant near Poulet Du Jour, talking with a group of people. Ramadan made disparaging remarks about a theft of money that Diab had suffered, police said, and Diab was speaking with one of the group via telephone and overheard the remarks.

In the theft, Diab had lost more than $100,000 that had been inside a van he owns, police said.

Witnesses told police Diab showed up in a van and hopped out, holding a wine bottle, which was wrestled away from him. Then Diab picked up a large plastic bread crate and hurled it at Ramadan, striking him in the shoulder and head, police said.

Ramadan drove away, but a couple minutes later told a passenger he was having chest pains. Then he suffered the fatal heart attack, police said. ER

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