Owner Arrested for Assault; Sachi Restaurant Remains Closed

by Judy Silberstein

(April 17, 2008) What began as an argument over money at Sachi, a new Japanese restaurant at 158 Larchmont Avenue in Larchmont Village, ended with one party arrested for assault and the other bleeding from a slashed arm on Friday, April 10. As of Thursday, April 17, the restaurant remained closed.

Sachi, a Japanese restaurant remained closed as of Thursday, April 17.

Larchmont Village police had been called to the restaurant at around 2:30 pm on Friday by a woman identified as April Jang, 27, of Queens, NY. She complained that one of Sachi’s owners, Chang Zhu, 31, of New York City, had failed to pay her for working at the restaurant since February. Furthermore, she had lent Mr. Zhu $40,000 to open the restaurant and make her a partner, but nothing had come of this, she said..

Ms. Jang was advised by police that her concern was a civil matter and to contact an attorney. The restaurant’s manager helped the disputants, who both speak Chinese and have limited English skills, communicate with the police.

By 3:45 pm, when police returned in response to a 911 call, the dispute had escalated. The responding officers found Ms. Jang crying on the floor, holding a rag over a cut to her arm. She pointed to Mr. Zhu as her assailant, and police arrested him after some difficulty in making themselves understood. They had to wrestle Mr. Zhu to the ground to put handcuffs on him.

Ms. Jang (who police also identified as Jing Ping Jiang) was treated at the scene by police and VAC, Larchmont-Mamaroneck's Volunteer Ambulance Corps, but declined further medical attention.

Police retrieved a shiny, metal meat cleaver – presumably the weapon used in the assault. They arrested Mr. Zhu and brought in a trained translator to help with the legal processing.

Later, Mr. Zhu was arraigned before Larchmont Village Judge Thea Beaver and released on cash bail of $2500. He was scheduled to return to court on April 22 at 6 pm. The judge also issued an order of protection, requiring Mr. Zhu to stay away from Ms. Jang.

SaschiA handwritten sign posted on the front door of the establishment since Friday apologizes for the restaurant being closed - apparently indefinitely. A large signboard overhead is half dismantled and dates from the building’s previous tenant, Marimo, another Japanese restaurant under different management.

Until a few weeks ago, Sachi was still celebrating its “grand opening” with its own large temporary sign and colored flags. The new tenants had spent months renovating, however, they may not have followed all of the requirements of Larchmont Village code.

According to Frank Blasi, Larchmont’s building inspector, the owners were asked to remove their temporary sign and to seek approval from the Board of Architectural Review before rehanging it. The owners are scheduled to appear before the BAR, for the second time, on April 30.