Portland restaurant owner survives customer stabbing attack

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PORTLAND, OR (KPTV ) — A downtown Portland restaurant owner is recovering after he says he was stabbed by a customer earlier this week.

According to police, the suspect may have been homeless.

Habibi Restaurant owner, Leo Khoury, said he’s eager to get back to work at his beloved business of 16 years at Southwest 10th Avenue and Southwest Morrison, but he’s still dealing with the pain and trauma of what happened in his dining room on Tuesday.

“I just start shaking if I see anybody walk inside the restaurant, I just get scared,” Leo Khoury said.

Khoury has bandages on his lower back and left shoulder covering two to three-inch gashes- his first stab wounds from his first violent encounter with a customer, Khoury told FOX 12.

“He just like this in back- boom- he stabbed me in the back,” Khoury said.

Khoury said he was checking on the lone customer dining in his restaurant around 7:30 p.m., Tuesday night, when it happened.

According to Khoury, the man finished eating and started to get angry after he received his bill.

“He said do you take Apple Pay, I said yes I do, he said give your phone, and I said, sir, Apple Pay I have to use your phone, not my phone,” Khoury explained.

After the customer started rummaging around in a bag and refused to leave the restaurant as employees prepped for closing, Khoury says he dialed 911. He told FOX 12 that the man became even more irate after hearing Khoury describe the situation to the dispatcher on the phone.

Khoury says that’s when the man stabbed him in the back and shoulder and then ran out of the restaurant.

“I was in lots of pain. I lost lots and lots of blood,” Khoury said.

Restaurant server Saba Saada said some of the other employees and neighboring business employees chased the suspect, who ended up hiding in bushes a couple of blocks away, police say.

According to police, officers arrested 23-year-old Moses Trullio, who is listed as homeless in court documents.

Trullio is facing an assault and a weapons charge.

Restaurant employees say it’s not unusual for homeless people to eat at Habibi’s, and Khoury says they are always welcome to eat for free if they can’t pay.

Khoury says that’s how he was raised.

But Saada said that recently, the homeless problem has gotten out of control.

“I know all the owners here tried to talk to the city about the homeless problem try to find a solution, but nothing happened about it yet,” Saada said.

Khoury plans to be back at work this weekend, as soon as some back pain subsides.

Saada said the community support has been comforting, telling FOX 12 most of their tables were full the day after the incident.

Trullio is scheduled to be back in court on October 8. Court documents indicate he has a criminal history, including prior misdemeanor theft convictions.

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