Industry rallies around robbed and beaten man

3 weeks ago 5
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RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- In an industry rocked by the pandemic where restaurants and restaurant workers were hit especially hard - a well-known Raleigh restaurant manager is off the job again. This time, violent robbers are to blame.

Raleigh restaurant insiders will say if you've eaten out in the Triangle over the last decade -- you've probably met Justin Skinner or met a restaurant worker who knows him. He's served, tended bar at countless places, and is currently manager at City Club Raleigh. At 1 a.m. on June 19, Skinner was the victim of violent crime in downtown Raleigh.

Skinner spoke to ABC11 via Facetime. He's still recovering from a broken jaw and nose suffered in the attack.

Skinner says he was waiting for an Uber near the Moore Square bus station on Hargett Street when two guys beat him severely before taking his wallet.

"I never made it in that Uber. I was robbed and subsequently assaulted," Skinner said. "It's been an unfortunate series of events. I've been out of work for the last two weeks and I'm not quite sure what the timeline is."

He is still not eating solid foods and in lingering pain -- facing an uncertain amount of time unable to work with a mountain of medical bills and no health insurance.

Justin Skinner, a well-known Raleigh restaurant manager, was robbed and beaten last month downtown. Now, the city’s tight-knit restaurant industry is rallying to help pay his mounting medical bills
• • •
“I heard about his story… we have to do something for him.” • AT 11 pic.twitter.com/AnacoSMa9z

— Joel Brown (@JoelBrownABC11) July 6, 2021

Vish Panjwani, owner of Mellow Mushroom Brier Creek and Skinner's old college buddy from UNC-Wilmington, is now the latest triangle restaurateur to rally around Skinner.

"I heard about his story, I figured we have to do something for him," said Panjwani.

Skinner's friends and colleagues created a Go Fund Me page which has raised thousands of dollars since it went live. And, on Tuesday night, Panjawani is pledging to donate of portion of all sales at his Mellow Mushroom to help Skinner pay his bills.

"Everywhere you go, every restaurant you walk into, somebody in that kitchen or host stand knows him," Panjwani said. "And I think that speaks to who he is and the positive stories he gives."

Panjwani said his Tuesday benefit will come along side a family-friendly helping of bingo and music trivia. He says the fundraiser will be a monthly event to help ensure Skinner gets the help he needs.

"The outpouring from the community has been really touching," said Skinner. "Especially for the food and beverage industry including Mellow Mushroom and Vish and his team."

There was no word back from Raleigh Police, Monday, about any arrests in Skinner's assault and robbery.

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In an industry rocked by the pandemic where restaurants and restaurant workers were hit especially hard - a well-known Raleigh restaurant manager is off the job again. This time, violent robbers are to blame.

Raleigh restaurant insiders will say if you've eaten out in the Triangle over the last decade -- you've probably met Justin Skinner or met a restaurant worker who knows him. He's served, tended bar at countless places, and is currently manager at City Club Raleigh. At 1:00 a.m. June 19 Skinner was the victim of violent crime in downtown Raleigh.

Skinner spoke to ABC 11 via Facetime. He's still recovering from a broken jaw and nose suffered in the attack.

He says he was waiting for an Uber near the Moore Square bus station on Hargett Street when two guys beat him severely before taking his wallet.

"I never made it in that Uber. I was robbed and subsequently assaulted," Skinner said. "It's been an unfortuante series of events. I've been out of work for the last two weeks and I'm not quite sure what the timeline is."

He is still not eating solid foods and in lingering pain -- facing an uncertain amount of time unable to work with a mountain of medical bills and no health insurance.

Vish Panjwani, owner of Mellow Mushroom Brier Creek and Skinner's old college buddy from UNC-Wilmington, is now the latest triangle restaurateur to rally around Skinner.

"I heard about his story, I figured we have to do something for him," said Panjwani.

Skinner's friends and colleagues crested a Go Fund Me page which has raised thousands of dollars since it went live. And, on Tuesday night, Panjawani is pledging to donate of portion of all sales at his Mellow Mushroom to help Skinner pay his bills.

"Everywhere you go, every restaurant you walk into, somebody in that kitchen or host stand knows him," Panjwani said. "And I think that speaks to who he is and the positive stories he gives."

Panjwani says his Tuesday benefit will come along side a family-friendly helping of Bingo and music trivia. He says the fundraiser will be a monthly event to help ensure Skinner gets the help he needs.

"The outpouring from the community has been really touching," said Skinner. "Especially for the food and beverage industry including Mellow Mushroom and Vish and his team."

There was no word back from Raleigh Police, Monday, about any arrests in Skinner's assault and robbery.

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