Charleston restaurant owner arrested on assault charge

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) — A prominent Charleston businessman has been arrested over accusations he gave a woman a concussion and broke one of her teeth in a downtown attack.

Osama “Sam” Mustafa, owner of several popular Charleston restaurants, was arrested May 7, and charged with third degree assault and battery.

Charleston Police say a woman claims Mustafa showed up to Hall’s Chop House while she was dining February 24, and proceeded to assault her outside the restaurant.

The victim had recently ended a relationship with Mustafa, but claims he continued harassing her, police say.

The night of the incident, the woman says she tried to leave the restaurant, but says Mustafa followed her outside and assaulted her in a parking lot, according to police.

In her statement to police, the woman said Mustafa grabbed her by the hair, forced her face toward the ground, then pushed her down causing her to hit her head on pavement.

The victim told police she suffered a concussion, a broken tooth, bumps and bruises, but that Mustafa continued contacting her afterward, and even paid $600 worth of her medical bills.

The woman reported the incident April 18. Police say she said she hesitated to file a report at first because Mustafa is well known in the community.

The victim reportedly changed her mind about reporting the alleged assault because Mustafa continued repeatedly contacting her afterward, and showed up at her residence without invitation.

Andy Savage, an attorney for Mustafa, says it's their belief the accusation "was a malicious reaction to rejection" on the alleged victim's part.

Read Savage's full statement below:

"We have recently initiated an investigation of allegations of a simple assault.Since the accuser did not appear yesterday for a collateral court hearing that she initiated, we were unable to question her or to obtain her statement under oath.The accuser's recent conduct, which is inconsistent with the reported allegations, leads us to believe that Sam's arrest was a malicious reaction to rejection.We look forward to the next court date in anticipation of uncovering the truth."- Andy Savage

Mustafa is the founder and CEO of the Charleston Hospitality Group, according to his LinkedIn page. The group operates popular Charleston restaurants Tabbuli, Toast, Eli’s Table, Queology, Cove Oyster Bar & Grille and Fill Restaurant & Piano Bar.

Mustafa also was recently selected as president of the Greater Charleston Restaurant Association, but the group says Mustafa "has chosen to step aside in his role with GCRA" in light of the allegations.

Mustafa was arrested and charged with criminal sexual conduct in the investigation of a June 2011 rape, but the charges were ultimately dropped in January 2013.

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