Police probe charge of racial discrimination at Grosse Pointe Farms restaurant

The patrons say they were racially discriminated against and are demanding ‘fair and equitable treatment of all patrons’

Stephanie Steinberg
The Detroit News

Police are investigating an incident at a Grosse Pointe Farms restaurant Saturday evening after three African-American women said they were asked to leave.

The women called the request to leave the bar at Blufin Sushi to make room for other patrons Saturday evening racially motivated. They said they were the only African-Americans in the restaurant.

TaNisha Prater, 40, and her friends Kim Lloyd Hudson, 43, and Adrienne Savage, 45, said space was available at other tables when they were told other customers needed to be seated.

When asked to leave, Prater turned on Facebook Live to record what happened. The 16-minute video shows Prater inside the restaurant before general manager Katherine Fiscelli asked her to step outside. Prater claims Fiscelli tried to snatch the phone out of her hand as well as the business card Fiscelli gave her after Prater requested to talk to the owner.

About 8:10 p.m., the Grosse Pointe Farms Police Department received a 911 call from a restaurant employee. A news release issued Tuesday by the Police Department states the caller reported “an irate customer.”

In the Facebook video, Prater said Fiscelli reported them to the police, claiming they were drunk. Prater attests they were not drunk, and she had only one drink with her meal.

When the two officers arrived, they questioned the women and asked for their identification. No charges were filed.

In an interview Monday, the women claimed the the officers were “confrontational” in how they responded.

On Sunday, Prater filed an assault charge against Fiscelli for allegedly lunging at her and trying to take her phone and the business card.

Grosse Pointe Farms Detective Lt. Richard Rosati is investigating the charge. He told The Detroit News on Tuesday that he plans to review video from the restaurant, provided by Blufin’s owner Joel Radu.

The Police Department news release said that “representing units, in accordance with department policy, collected the necessary information from the involved parties to complete a report. The incident is being investigated by the Grosse Pointe Farms Detective Bureau, and the report and all evidence will be submitted to the Prosecutor’s Office for review and/or recommendations.”

Fiscelli, who started her position three months ago, is the 23-year-old niece of Radu, who could not be reached for comment.

“I apologize that anybody would have that experience here,” Radu told WXYZ (Channel 7) on Monday, “and that’s not what I ever want to see happen again.”

Continued attempts Monday and Tuesday by The Detroit News to reach Radu or other representatives of the restaurant for comment were unsuccessful.

Prater said she also has not heard from Blufin.

The women say they are planning a protest Wednesday evening outside Blufin Sushi.


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Twitter: @Steph_Steinberg