Archive for Wednesday, June 25, 2003

Former worker sues boss

Manager accused of holding employee at gunpoint

June 25, 2003


A former employee of Teller's, 746 Mass., is suing the restaurant's general manager in connection with a Jan. 10 incident in which the manager allegedly took the employee into a basement room, forced him to sit in a chair, and held him at gunpoint until police arrived.

The apparent reason was that the manager, James I. Truscello, suspected employee David J. Kessler of overcharging customers on their bills, said Kessler's attorney, James L. Wisler.

"There's been no charged filed against David Kessler," Wisler said. "I don't know of anything that he did wrong. Even if he did something wrong, that's no justification for this kind of outrageous conduct."

Truscello, 45, couldn't be reached for comment Tuesday at his home or the restaurant.

He was charged with one count of aggravated assault as a result of the incident and has applied for diversion. If the state accepts his application and he completes the terms of the agreement, the charge would be dismissed.

Kessler, 27, filed suit June 19 in Douglas County District Court against Truscello and the restaurant's Prairie Village-based owner. His suit alleges, among other things, that Truscello falsely imprisoned him and assaulted him and that the restaurant was negligent in hiring Truscello.

Wisler said one of the reasons Kessler felt threatened was that a piece of black plastic was hanging from the ceiling behind the chair where he claims he was forced to sit.

"It appears to me that it was a means of intimidation that it appeared he would be shot and wrapped in the plastic," Wisler said.

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