Paul Qui, one of Austin’s top chefs, was arrested for allegedly assaulting his girlfriend on Saturday, March 19. According to Travis County jail records, he was booked at 9:54 a.m. His charges include "assault causing bodily injury to a family member" and "unlawful restraint." His bond was set at a total of $20,000 ($15,000 for the former charge, and $5,000 for the latter), and he was released on Sunday.
Qui and his friends came home and began partaking in drugs and alcohol before waking her up and asking her to join the partying. The victim said she agreed and joined the party, having a couple of drinks before she said an intoxicated Qui began accusing his friends of flirting with her before kicking them all out, continued in the affidavit. The victim then stated Qui became enraged and began knocking over furniture and breaking glass. She then grabbed some of her things and tried to leave with her son, but said Qui "stood in front of the door" and blocked her exit and "forcibly pushed her and her son away." According to the arrest affidavit Qui then picked the victim up and began throwing her against the walls and doors while telling her she wasn’t going to leave.
Paul Qui shared a statement with Austin 360:
On Saturday morning, I asked my friend to call the police to aid in an argument with my girlfriend that had escalated beyond my control. I was arrested and charged with two misdemeanors. I am innocent of the charges of assault.
This situation made me realize that I need to take more time for my health and myself. I will be checking myself into a treatment facility in the coming days and I am appreciative of the support of my family, friends and partners. Thank you for respecting my privacy.
Within the past four months, Qui has opened three restaurants: Otoko, his tiny Japanese and sushi restaurant tucked within the South Congress hotel with Yoshi Okai, East Side King Thai Kun's brick and mortar, helmed by Thai Changthong, and Pao in Miami within the Faena Hotel.
This post will be updated as more information comes in.
Update, 4:27 p.m.: This post has been updated with the police arrest affidavit.
Update, 4:17 p.m.: This post has been updated with Qui's statement.