The owner and chef of popular Rockaways pizzeria Whit’s End got busted by cops for growing weed in the restaurant — and tried to pass the plant off as just herbs for his pies. According to DNAinfo New York, Whitney Aycock, who’s known as "the Pizza Nazi" for his no-nonsense attitude, left the beach-side restaurant in handcuffs over the weekend after police noticed marijuana plants at the back of the restaurant. He first claimed it was a lemon verbena plant and then that it was catnip. "Those are herbs," he said, according to DNAinfo. "I use them for my restaurant." Police were, ahem, not convinced.
Aycock did not leave politely. He "screamed, writhed, and cursed" during his arrest, ultimately leading to charges for growing cannabis without a license, disorderly conduct, and obstructing governmental administration, DNAinfo reports. His patrons followed suit with the attitude, cursing the police who handcuffed the chef. Although officials reported ridged leaves and a "pungent smell" that identified the plant as marijuana, Aycock continued to insist that it was not. From DNAinfo:
As a final defense, the chef — whose LinkedIn profile cites 10 years cooking experience and a stint at renowned Italian restaurant Salumeria Rosi — told police that he had been duped into believing the illegal drug was a fresh herb.
"If it’s anything that it’s not supposed to be, then you shouldn’t be speaking to me," Aycock said. "You should be speaking to the people who sold it to me."
Whit’s End, known for its Neopolitan pies, now has a picture on its restaurant website that says "Closed, go fuck off and die. Thanks."