Eatery owner beat up his girlfriend’s son over negative Yelp reviews

Florida restaurateur charged with battery after he allegedly enacted revenge for caustic online criticism.


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Mugshot of restaurant owner Daniel Ahrens
Restaurant owner Daniel Ahrens
(Pinellas County Sheriff's Office)

The owner of a Florida barbecue joint was arrested for allegedly beating up his girlfriend’s son, whom he suspected of posting negative Yelp reviews of his establishment.

Daniel Ahrens, 60, jumped on top of the victim and struck him several times outside a home in Largo, a city in the Tampa Bay area, on Tuesday night, according to an arrest affidavit obtained by The Smoking Gun.

The attack followed the posting Monday of two scathing reviews on the Yelp page for Ahrens’ eatery, Georgia Boy’s Bar B-Que.

One reviewer named “Sean R.” wrote of the food that he “wouldn’t even feed it my dog,” adding that the restaurateur “should spend less time threatening customers and more time on learning to cook properly.”

The second review, authored by “Rick R.,” opined that it was “not a great idea to threaten your customers, due to you serving garbage BBQ.”

The 25-year-old victim, who is the son of Ahrens’ girlfriend, had reportedly told his mother about receiving “threatening” calls and texts from the eatery owner, who wanted “to beat his ass” over a “restaurant review.”

The arrest affidavit does not indicate why Ahrens thought the victim was responsible for the negative reviews.

The victim’s mother opened the door to Ahrens, who “shoved his way past and started to chase the victim around in the road,” the affidavit states.

Eventually, after the victim tripped and fell to the ground, Ahrens allegedly “jumped on top of him and struck him several times while the victim covered his face with his arms.”

Ahrens was arrested for battery and released from Pinellas County jail Wednesday morning after posting $500 bond on the misdemeanor charge.

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