Belle Glade Sun

Belle Glade Pizzeria Worker duels with Pahokee Commissioner; Dangerous turn when victim draws gun

BELLE GLADE—Palm Beach County Sheriff’s deputies were called to the scene of a fight between a local pizzeria worker and a Pahokee commissioner who runs a barbecue stand across the street after the incident took a nearly deadly turn on Friday.

Michael Joseph, 29, was arrested and charged with aggravated battery with a deadly weapon after he allegedly tried to run over Nathaniel Holmes, 62, of Pahokee, for disrupting his business. The incident happened shortly before 6 p.m. on June 19, at Hungry Howies, located on Southwest Avenue D in Belle Glade.

According to information released by the sheriff’s office, dispatch received a call from a man who was claiming to have been struck by a car driven by a Hungry Howies employee. The victim told deputies the incident started after a pizzeria customer parked his car in a way that blocked his barbecue business across the street. Holmes asked the customer to park his car in another location, but the customer told him to wait a minute and walked inside the pizzeria.

Holmes walked inside the pizzeria to ask the customer to move his vehicle again, at which point Joseph and he reportedly got into a verbal argument, with Joseph claiming Holmes was disrupting his business.

The argument continued outside, where Holmes and two other witnesses, one of whom knew Joseph by his first name, alleged that Joseph got into a silver car parked at the pizzeria, turned it toward Holmes, who was walking back to his barbecue stand, and raced toward him. The car swerved into Holmes, who was struck on his left leg and hand. Holmes, also a retired sheriff’s deputy, pulled out a firearm but did not fire it.