Police arrested an off-duty correction officer early on Sunday morning after they say he tried to skip out on a bill at a Midtown nightclub, then smashed up the place and punched a manager in the face when confronted.
Scott Baxter, 36, allegedly racked up a tab at Lavo, on East 58th Street near Madison Avenue, and when the manager told him he had to pay at around 1:20 a.m., he allegedly threw a chair and glasses, and socked the manager.
Cops cuffed Baxter an hour later, according to an NYPD announcement, and prosecutors have charged him with assault, criminal mischief, theft of services, and harassment. In all, Baxter faces five misdemeanor charges that carry as much as a year imprisonment each, one that carries a maximum sentence of three months, and one violation, which carries a max of 15 days.
Baxter was arraigned on Sunday and released without bail, according to a Manhattan District Attorney's Office spokesman.
In 2016, he made $136,700 on a base salary of $80,700, according to payroll records. A jury dismissed a 2012 lawsuit accusing him of violating a Rikers Island inmate's civil rights in a beating that the man said left him with a chipped tooth.
Baxter's lawyer did not immediately respond to requests for comment. A woman who answered the phone at the restaurant side of Lavo declined to comment.
Update 3:15 p.m.:
In a statement, Department of Correction spokesman Peter Thorne wrote, “The vast majority of Department of Correction staff perform their duties with the highest level of integrity and Commissioner [Joseph] Ponte has zero tolerance for those who don’t."
The department has not suspended Baxter.