Chef and co-owner of Mixtli, a lauded San Antonio restaurant and one of Eater’s essential Texas restaurants, Diego Galicia pleaded no contest in response to an assault charge from October 2016 in Dallas, as reported by the San Antonio Express-News, which is akin to a guilty plea.
The incident occurred in Dallas at pub chain Ginger Man, where the victim Alex Valdez said that Galicia “shoved him, knocked him into a counter and slammed his head into a window,” as the San Antonio Express-News noted.
Valdez believed that Galicia attacked him because he allegedly saw him cheat on his wife, as he explained on the website he created to share his side of the story:
Though I made no threats against him to reveal this, his solution to ensure my silence was to sucker punch me at a pub and slam my head into a window repeatedly until I was left with life-altering brain damage.
On his website, Valdez covered everything from the alleged assault to his injuries to his recovery, as well as retold stories shared about Galicia by other former employees of the restaurant that have not been corroborated.
Galicia’s lawyer, Adam Sabrin, had a different account of what happened that evening, where they said that Valdez was “extremely drunk and aggressively harassing a female member” of his group. When they tried to leave:
Alex grabbed her arm and tried to force her to stay. Mr. Galicia stepped in between them and took ahold of Alex’s shirt, asking him to back off. They separated without any bodily contact between the two.
“I’m glad that the ‘no contest’ shows people that he felt he would not do well had the case actually gone to court,” Valdez told Eater. Though, Valdez did express disappointment that he believed that Galicia “is essentially taking this all as a joke.” Valdez pointed to a comment Galicia made on the San Antonio Express-News’s food section’s Facebook page, complaining about the portrait that the paper ran with the article reporting the plea.
Originally, Galicia was charged with a Class A misdemeanor charge of assault with bodily injury in the Dallas County court, but it was downgraded to a Class C misdemeanor charge of simple assault by offensive contact because Galicia seized Valdez’s shirt.
As a result of Galicia’s “no contest” plea, he will have to pay the court costs and a $400 fine, as well as participate in unsupervised probation.
Sabrin told Eater that they are looking to expunge the charge from his record in five months. According to a statement of resolution of matter Sabrin shared with Eater, they believe that “Valdez’s account of the facts was greatly exaggerated.”
Galicia is also considering filing a civil suit against Valdez, according to his lawyer, and Galicia’s “no contest” plea wouldn’t have any bearing in a civil suit.
- Star S.A. chef pleads no contest to reduced assault charge [San Antonio Express-News]