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Harlem Restaurateur Accused of Leaving a Man With Brain Damage After Fight [UPDATE]

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Dard Coaxum, self described "Harlem Gatsby," has been involved with Harlem restaurants.

Dard Coaxum
Dard Coaxum

A Harlem restaurateur who calls himself "Harlem Gatsby" is being accused of causing a man severe brain damage after a fight, the Post reports. Dard Coaxum, who used to co-own French bistro Cedric, faces up to a year in jail for punching event planner Julio Torres after an argument last June.

The conflict started after Coaxum found Torres' credit card on the floor at Suite 308, according to the Post. Coaxum gave the card to Torres and asked for a drink in return — a request that Torres ignored. Later, the two ran into each other at a local deli, where Torres was being "loud and obnoxious," according to the District Attorney. Coaxum walked over to Torres and punched him. The businessman and his friends then tried to walk away, but Torres followed and taunted him, the Post reports. Coaxum ultimately threw a punch that sent Torres head first into the ground, rendering him unconscious.

Coaxum, 46, is being tried for a misdemeanor assault. His attorney is arguing that Torres "was the real aggressor" and that Coaxum tried to walk away about seven times. Torres, 43, is still unconscious.

UPDATE: Harlem Shake tells Eater in a statement that Coaxum does not own or manage the restaurant. His daughter, Dardra Coaxum, is an investor in the project.