UPDATED Asheville restaurant owner/chef arrested, charged with punching female parking attendant

Jason Sandford

Jason Sandford is a reporter, writer, blogger and photographer interested in all things Asheville.

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UPDATED Sunday, 5:20 p.m.

In a WLOS interview from Friday, restaurateur Hector Diaz said that a female parking attendant grew angry when she thought he was backing his car into her, and struck him with her citation device when he exited the vehicle. Diaz indicated he did not initiate the altercation, and struck the attendant accidentally with his clipboard when she approached him forcefully.

However, an eyewitness to the event corroborated the attendant’s story: That Diaz yelled at the attendant, shoved her, and punched her in the head after she stood near his car, tagging it into the system.

View the WLOS story with Diaz’ interview here.

The Citizen-Times also has more here: Asheville restaurateur charged with assault

A witness called police and confirmed the alleged victim’s story in a police report. He said he was sitting in his vehicle on Wall Street and saw what happened in a rear-view mirror.

The witness said in the police report that he did not see the vehicle back up toward the city employee. He told police he saw Diaz get out of the vehicle and yell at the worker. The witness also told police he saw Diaz “push the victim and started punching her in the head area,” according to the police report.

At that point, the witness told police, he approached Diaz and started yelling at him to leave. Diaz yelled an obscenity at the man, according to the witness’ statement to police, and left only after the witness said he was going to call the police.

Diaz was charged with misdemeanor assault on a female. The attendant was not charged.

An exceptionally talented Asheville restauranteur, Diaz owns several popular local restaurants including Modesto, Chorizo, Salsa’s and Bomba.


Well-known restauranteur Hector Diaz was arrested on Thursday and charged with hitting a parking attendant. The Asheville Citizen-Times reports:

The parking worker was behind a blue Honda Crossover on Wall Street parked in a 30-minute loading zone and tagging it into the system when it began moving toward her. She was not issuing a citation, she later told police.

She told police she began beating the car to get the driver’s attention. The driver got out and walked toward her yelling an obscenity and telling her to stop banging on her car.

He then pushed her and hit her in the head with his fists, according to her statement to police.

The story goes on to say that Diaz told police that he’s been stressed out lately, and that he regrets his actions. Diaz is the owner of Salsa’s, Chorizo and Modesto, all respected eateries that serve up tasty dishes.

Jason Sandford

Jason Sandford is a reporter, writer, blogger and photographer interested in all things Asheville.

  • 1

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  1. former employee April 23, 2013

    This is justice long overdue. While at work I saw hector strike a WOMAN in the face in our restaurant. He is unbalanced. He would regularly throw tantrums and fire people for no reason. To the people who believe in this job creator myth, while finding a job in this town can be tough If hector and his restaurants weren’t here there would still be plenty of restaurants in asheville. In addition who wants a job from an abusive boss who makes you negotiate how much of your paycheck you can have based on how desperate your immediate financial needs are. I could go on…and on. If Asheville wants a town where nice people live and work they need to stop giving jerks like this their money.

  2. womanmyself January 6, 2013

    let’s be fair here, as for the comments about boycotting restaurants because a man hit a woman: who can tell whether most of those working for parking services are women or men?

  3. Ben January 5, 2013

    Most of the comments I’ve read on here are mainly filled with anger about Hector ‘hitting a woman.’

    But really, we should be angry that he assaulted anyone. At all. I feel like there’d be so much less rage if he punched the short meter maid everyone dislikes already. Or if he punched a big dude in the face. In any of the cases, he assaulted another person. And that’s messed up.

    Too much testosterone in these posts, IMO.

  4. None December 31, 2012

    Hector is as big of a joke as his shitty restaurants.
    As if punching women isn’t bad enough…He should be put behind bars for the unedible doughnuts at Bomba. Seriously, Hector, have you ever eaten a doughnut in your life?

  5. NFB December 30, 2012

    ” His businesses should be boycotted and his employees should know what a douche bag he is. Well, I’m sure they already know that by now.”

    If they already know then why are they still working for him since, you know, getting another service job is supposed to be so easy.

  6. BT December 29, 2012

    I’m amazed that someone would defend anyone that hits a woman! To me, the only reason he is “stressed out” by the situation is because he doesn’t want to be SUED. His businesses should be boycotted and his employees should know what a douche bag he is. Well, I’m sure they already know that by now.

  7. Laura December 29, 2012

    I was just telling my husband yesterday when I first read this story that I wonder how long his restaurants will fare after this…

  8. Jo December 28, 2012

    Hector employees a lot of people in his four businesses. I will not defend his actions but he provides employment opportunities for students, artists, mothers and families. Those people will be out of jobs if these restaurants are boycotted and they did not punch anyone in the street. Him punching people male or female has nothing to do with his businesses or his employees. You will boycott his business for his bad personal behavior yet many of you have items in your homes made in third world countries by children under the age of 16 for pennies an hour bought at Walmart so check yourself before you start throwing stones. This is Asheville and in case you haven’t noticed jobs are not at an all time high right now. We want to boycott local area businesses because the owner did something wrong…I am sure it will hurt more than him. I am sure it will hurt some of your favorite Asheville artists and cut some students out of a job and food, shelter, electricity, etc. If you don’t want to support bad businesses cool, but he did not do this as part of his business he was a lone person. So send him an email let him know you are angry and don’t frequent his establishments personally because you have such strong convictions that you are constantly supporting only businesses with good clean wholesome images who treat their employees correctly and do not take jobs out of America and lay then on cheap child labor in other poorer nations. Right!

    1. Hal December 29, 2012

      Are you for real?? Maybe you haven’t bothered to look, but there are many, many jobs available in Asheville. Check Craigslist. There are lots of great new restaurants opening up soon. Soon there will be lots of great new breweries. This is about a guy, Hector, who is a LOCAL who made a very bad decision and hit a WOMAN and hopefully he will get locked up for a while to think about it. Hell no will I go to his restaurants. Why would I support an abusive angry man like that? Sure, it isn’t the fault of his staff BUT they can also make a choice to not be associated with this douchebag and work somewhere else! Just like I have a choice not to shop at Walmart or eat at Salsas!

    2. John December 29, 2012

      We all have our crosses to bear. His businesses should ALL be boycotted. There are plenty of service industry jobs available. His employees will be just fine.

      1. Adam A December 30, 2012

        As a service industry employee, I find it rather cavalier of you to assume that finding a GOOD service job is easy. Trust me, it’s not.

        1. John December 30, 2012

          Well from one service employee to another, giddy-up big boy. This isn’t about you, or Diaz’ employees. This is about DIAZ! A coward who likes to hit women, and who has had 3 assault charges filed against him in the last 2 years. Maybe Hector should think a little more about his business and his employees before he goes around hiting women.

    3. Ben January 5, 2013

      Jo brings up a good point.

      We all use stuff that’s created by people who take advantage/hurt other people.

      Boycott will just hurt the waitstaff during the already dark days of the winter season, and by the next tourist season it won’t matter (financially) any loss locals create for Hector.

  9. John December 28, 2012

    I frequent Salsa’s and Modesto. I will never again darken the doors of any establishment owned by this coward. There should be a call for a boycott of his restaurants.

  10. John December 28, 2012

    Wow. What a man! Punching a woman in the head. This cockroach needs to have his ass kicked.

    1. Ben January 5, 2013

      Wow, what a solution. Hitting someone for hitting someone.

      I bet that’ll stop people from thinking that it’s okay to use violence to solve problems.


      1. John January 5, 2013

        Sorry dude. You hit a woman. You deserve to have your ass kicked. Take your softy bullshit somewhere else.

  11. ashevillain December 28, 2012

    I wonder if “he was stressed out” when he 1) berated me and my waiter at Salsa’s 2) slammed the door to the restaurant and 3) collided with 2 other vehicles [parallel parked across the street next to the BB&T building] before speeding off in his own vehicle…

    …after I complained of a large piece of wood in my food. It was about the length of a toothpick, about as wide as 3 toothpicks side by side and had bright blue glossy paint on one side of it. But according to Hector “it was organic” and I was still “going to pay for it.”

    As it ended up, the waiter did not charge me for my meal (which was the right way to handle it) and he attempted to apologize for Hector’s inflammatory rude behavior (while the thought was nice, the second-hand apology fell on deaf ears).

    I WISH Hector would have tried to engage me in a physical altercation. Oh well, at the very least he doesn’t have to worry about ever seeing me in any of his establishments ever again.

    1. ashevillain December 28, 2012

      I guess I should also mention…my story is unrelated chronologically to this blog post. The incident I am reporting occurred about 7-8 years ago.

      1. annon December 29, 2012

        Its about time this guy got called out for his B.S.
        There are many, many stories that will show you his true nature. Just ask anyone that’s ever worked for him.

        1. John December 29, 2012

          I was told today that he spit in the face of another parking enforcement officer a couple of years ago. Don’t know if its true, but sure fits with his reputation.

    2. Whodat December 29, 2012

      7-8 years ago and you are still holding onto it? Come on.

      1. Jordan December 30, 2012

        uhhh yeah, as he should. This just shows that this man (Diaz) has been an aggressive jerk for years. Says a lot about his character. I think it is totally relevant even though it was years ago. Someone treats me like that, I would remember it for life.

        1. ashevillain December 30, 2012

          “Someone treats me like that, I would remember it for life.”


          Not sure about why there’s a negative connotation from Whodat about “holding on to it?” It’s not like I’m hand-wringing on a daily basis for 8 years about this. It was a very bad customer service situation and I decided to never support him by eating at his restaurants. That’s it. So what!?

          I feel that we [as world citizens] cast a vote for the kind of world we want to live in each time we spend our hard earned dollars. I try not to cast those votes against my own interests. There are plenty of food sources where I can spend my money, get fed and cast my vote for a world that I believe in all at the same time.

          I don’t believe in a world where it’s ok to be as belligerent and abusive as we want to be just because our lives are “stressful.”


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