What started out as a ribbing between co-workers at the Circus Cafe ended with the restaurant's chef stabbing a dishwasher with a 10-inch knife.
Police said David Hernandez, 50, of Schuylerville, was working in the kitchen at the Broadway eatery shortly before 8 p.m. when an argument broke out between the chef and a 34-year-old dishwasher. The argument, though, turned violent when Hernandez repeatedly punched his co-worker in the face, according to police.
“They were just having an argument,” said Lt. Robert Jillson. “Then the older guy brought it to another level.”
And that included stabbing the man. Investigators said Hernandez grabbed the large knife and stabbed the dishwasher once in the lower back, then set the weapon down and quietly walked out of the restaurant.
“I don't know if it's the stress of the long season or there was something underlying,” Jillson said.
Jillson said patrons at the restaurant didn't appear to be impacted by the events in the kitchen. Hernandez, the longtime chef at Circus, was found at the city parking garage off Broadway a short time after the stabbing and arrested.
The injured dishwasher was brought to the Albany Medical Center hospital. He remains in stable condition, according to police.
Hernandez was arraigned on one felony count of second-degree assault and criminal possession of a weapon, a misdemeanor. He was sent to the Saratoga County Jail in lieu of $10,000 cash bail or $20,000 bond.
Though kitchens in Saratoga Springs are often high-stress during racing season, seldom do they rise to the level of violence where someone gets stabbed. Jillson couldn't recall an attack like the one alleged at Circus.
“Something like this? Nothing like this comes to mind,” he said.