Man Charged In Stabbings After Being Refused Beer

By Lena H. Sun
Washington Post Staff Writer
Sunday, November 18, 2007

A 19-year-old Leesburg man has been charged in connection with the stabbing of two employees of an Ashburn restaurant after its staff refused to serve him beer, the Loudoun County Sheriff's Office said yesterday.

Sean Patrick Shanahan, who surrendered to authorities yesterday afternoon, was charged with two counts of aggravated malicious wounding after the Friday night incident at Mezza Grill in the Broadlands Center Plaza, according to Kraig Troxell, a sheriff's office spokesman.

Shanahan entered the restaurant just before 10 p.m., near closing time, and ordered beer, said owner Robert Amireh, who was there. The restaurant staff declined to serve the man because he was unable to produce identification showing he was of legal drinking age, Amireh said.

"He started to use bad language," Amireh said. "He said the F-word, and I asked him to leave." An assistant manager escorted him out.

About 10:20 p.m., Shanahan pulled out a knife and stabbed the assistant manager, Troxell said. When a waiter saw what was happening, Amireh said, he rushed out to try to help the 52-year-old man, Amireh said. The waiter, 34, was stabbed in the stomach and in his side, the restaurant owner said.

The victims were airlifted to Inova Fairfax Hospital, authorities said. The older employee was treated and released, and the younger one remained hospitalized yesterday in stable condition, according to the sheriff's office and Amireh.

Shanahan's parents told authorities after the Friday night incident that they were in contact with their son and that he would turn himself in. Troxell said Shanahan surrendered at 4:30 p.m. yesterday. He was being held without bond at the Loudoun County Adult Detention Center in Leesburg.

A woman who answered a telephone listed for a residence in the Broad Run neighborhood said she was Shanahan's mother but declined to give her name.

"We told the police everything we knew," she said, adding that she could not comment further.

Staff researcher Magda Jean-Louis contributed to this report.

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