EAST AUSTIN, TX — Prosecutors are planning to drop charges against local celebrity chef/restaurateur Paul Qui in connection to a March 2016 domestic disturbance, according to a published report.
Qui, winner of the ninth season of the Bravo TV show "Top Chef" who ran an eponymous restaurant in East Austin prior to the accusation, had been charged with assault and unlawful restraint during a fight with his girlfriend. Qui faced a trial on the charges next week, but special prosecutor Fred Weber said there are now plans to drop the charges after the victim declined to cooperate with the prosecution, the Austin American-Statesman reported.
Qui’s attorney, Chris Gunter, told the Statesman Qui is pleased "it’s finally over," categorizing the charges as "an unfortunate misunderstanding."
Related story: East Austin ‘Top Chef’ Arrested Amid Domestic Abuse Allegations
When police arrived to the scene of the argument, they found Qui’s live-in girlfriend inside an apartment they shared while clutching a young boy, according to a previous arrest affidavit. The woman told police she tried to leave the dwelling only to be blocked by Qui and pushed to the floor each time she attempted to exit.
The victim also told police Qui had invited some friends to the apartment the night before the incident, alleging "…they were all indulging in cocaine, Xanax, alcohol and marijuana."
A James Beard Award-winning chef, Qui owns the East Side King restaurant at 2310 S. Lamar Blvd. that also offers its Japanese street food offerings via a food truck at 1618 E. 6th St.
Paul Qui booking photo from March 2016 domestic disturbance case via Austin Police Department