Hamptons Police broke up a fight at Chez Bon Marché in East Hampton on Thursday after a group of humans began berating their alligator companion for never paying at the end of their weekly dinner gathering. The gator, named simply “Gus,” argued he would like to pay but could never reach the check, because of his alligator arms, and was therefore excluded from doing so.
“This was apparently a long simmering issue among the group, but the humans involved had always held their tongues for fear of appearing species-ist,” Hamptons Police Department spokesman Larry Hirsch explained on Saturday. “But Chez Bon Marche is not a cheap place to eat and I think their frustration finally got the better of them.”
Witnesses, who were looking because an alligator was eating with humans at a restaurant, said they heard raised voices shortly after the waiter delivered their check. Not long after, one man, later identified as local cheese merchant Barry Menhaden Smithson, screamed something like, “I’m sick and tired of your stupid arms, Gus,” and struck the gator in the face.
“It was all quite mad,” the witness said. “But I will say, the alligator tried to hit the man back and couldn’t reach, so maybe he couldn’t pay the bill after all.”
Police were called and stopped the melee just as some others in the group began piling onto Gus, and they were able to stop the fight. After calming everyone down and taking statements from all involved, officers asserted that, alligator arms or not, Gus—who actually turns out to be an alligatorid crocodilian species, called a caiman—has a snout that is clearly long enough to snatch up any check or bill from any type of table.
Gus, now embarrassed, was ordered to pay for the meal, and he complied.
With the matter resolved, police allowed all parties to leave, but suggested they stop dining together for the foreseeable future.