When he sat down at his table at downtown Brownsville's El Rancho Alegre Café last Saturday night, all Esequiel Silva wanted was a plate of chicken milanesa enchiladas. Little did he know how just how much the Happy Ranch Cafe would fail to live up to its name.
After taking a couple of bites, he discovered that the restaurant's proprietor, Maria Del Rayo Cordero, had instead served him beef.
He tried to send the meal back. Cordero told him he would have to pay for the replacement chicken. Silva grumbled but agreed to purchase the second meal. But he started thinking about it. It just wasn't fair. He began arguing with Cordero, and things went from bad to worse.
So much so that soon enough, Silva found himself wearing the beef milanesa enchiladas and a glass of iced tea, both of which Cordero is alleged to have thrown on him.
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And the battle had just begun...
Silva returned fire with another glass of iced tea he found nearby at hand, but then Cordero allegedly wheeled out the heavy gun -- an oval, ceramic plate, which she bashed over the back of his head.
Police arrived minutes later and charged the 40-year-old Cordero with aggravated assault causing voluntary injury. Paramedics looked Silva over, but he refused their offer of transport to the hospital.
"As senseless as this may be, you do have a crime here," said Brownsville police spokesman Jimmy Manrique. "It is aggravated assault when you try to hit someone with a heavy object that can cause damage."