A mother and daughter are suing an Ogunquit restaurant, claiming the owner assaulted them as they tried to leave the eatery more than a year ago.

Marian Boudreau and her daughter Renee, who live in Massachusetts, filed a civil complaint Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Portland against Angelina’s Ristorante and Wine Bar, its owner David Giarusso and waiter Carlos Perez. The Boudreaus’ complaint states that Giarusso attacked them in the parking lot after Marian Boudreau told him another customer had slipped on the restaurant’s stairs.

But Giarusso – who learned of the lawsuit during a phone interview on Friday – said it was Marian Boudreau who attacked him and his staff after they asked her to return a signed copy of a receipt the restaurant needed to prove that she had paid for her meal.

The Boudreaus’ attorney, Thomas Hallett, could not be reached to discuss the case Friday.

Giarusso said he remembers the night well, not only because the fight was unusual for his restaurant, but because he and Boudreau were both charged with disorderly conduct. The York County District Attorney’s office confirmed Friday that prosecutors decided in January not to pursue the charges.

According to the Boudreaus’ complaint, they were sitting in the restaurant’s tent-covered “Garden Terrace” on July 29, 2021, when Boudreau saw an older woman slip on a staircase that led to the parking lot.


Boudreau said she went inside to talk to a manager and when Giarusso came out to their table a few minutes later he looked “visibly bothered” and “annoyed by her concern.”

“So she’s going on about this,” Giarusso said Friday in an interview about the complaint. “It didn’t even happen to her, what does she care?”

The Boudreaus’ complaint states that Marian Boudreau felt Giarusso was still upset half an hour later as she and her daughter were getting ready to leave. In Spanish, she told their waiter, Perez, that she felt she had “upset his boss and she had not meant to,” but that she was “just looking out for his best interest.”

Perez told Boudreau in English that it wasn’t worth “beating a dead horse over,” according to the complaint, and he told her “not to worry about leaving a tip.” As they went to leave, the complaint says, Giarusso “turned around to face them and began speaking in Spanish to Boudreau,” saying he understood everything she had told Perez.

Giarusso confirmed that part of the story Friday. He said that he had overheard Boudreau say she believed Perez was only telling her not to leave a tip because he was afraid Giarusso might fire him. What she didn’t know was that Perez had worked at the restaurant for 19 years and had been Giarusso’s life partner for 22 years, he said.

“Then she must’ve felt stupid or something about the whole situation,” Giarusso said.


The complaint states that Giarusso berated the Boudreaus in English and Spanish, another allegation he disputes, saying he just tried to stop the women after he noticed the restaurant copy of their receipt was gone.

Without that receipt, he said, there was a chance the Boudreaus could dispute the bill with the credit card company and the restaurant would not have the signed proof it needed to get paid.

“She’s out there screaming, yelling, calling us names,” Giarusso said. “I said ‘Look, we just want the credit card slips.’”

Giarusso and Boudreau disagree about who started the fight that came next.

The Boudreaus’ complaint states that the mother and daughter were trying to get in their car when a pickup truck blocked them in and Giarusso “banged her window and yelled “you didn’t (expletive) pay your bill you (expletive)!”

It alleges that Giarusso hit Marian Boudreau several times, breaking a dental bridge, as staff tried to restrain her and her daughter.


The complaint states that the restaurant owner also hit Renee Boudreau, a teenager at the time, across the jaw.

“I didn’t punch her in the face several times,” Giarusso said after reviewing Boudreau’s complaint. “That is just a lie. … Why are we going on about this a year-plus later?”

He said Boudreau was the one who started swinging at employees, who followed her outside to ask about the receipt, and that Boudreau tore his T-shirt.


Shortly after the Boudreaus left – driving over bushes because the truck was still parked behind their car – Ogunquit and Wells police officers pulled them over, as well as the busboy who followed them, the complaint says. The busboy had done so “of his own accord,” Giarusso said Friday.

Ogunquit Chief of Police John Lizanecz said Friday that his officers were called by restaurant employees, who reported someone was trying to leave without paying the bill.


Lizanecz said Boudreau did have both copies of the receipt in her car.

“We’re a tourist-driven community. With people coming here to eat and drink, these things happen like this a lot,” Lizanecz said. But usually, he said, they don’t escalate in this way.

The Boudreaus are seeking more than $75,000 in damages for assault, battery, intentional infliction of emotional distress and negligent infliction of distress. Marian Boudreau said she has persistent knee pain, which makes her job as a dental assistant difficult, according to the complaint. Traumatized by the incident, her daughter – who started college a few months later – struggled in school and isolated herself.

Giarusso said he’s worried about any negative attention his restaurant will receive because of the lawsuit and media coverage. But he said he’s not worried about the lawsuit.

“Because I know we didn’t do anything wrong,” he said.

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