Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Clearwater barber accused of beating up customer

CLEARWATER — Both the barber and his customer agree that their Saturday altercation started over price haggling, but the two tell different stories about what happened next.

Raymond M. Stewart, 36, who owns Trend Citi Fades, was arrested Sunday on a charge of felony battery after, police said, he attacked a customer who wanted a deal on two haircuts.

But Stewart said Monday that he never attacked anyone and that it was his customer, 25-year-old Quazi Rahman, who was out of control.

According to the Clearwater police arrest report, Stewart put Rahman in a headlock and punched him in the face and head after the pricing argument.

Rahman said Monday that he and a friend went to Stewart's barbershop to get their hair cut about 2 p.m. Saturday. Rahman said he's a regular customer who has been coming to the shop about twice a month for the last six months.

Before any cutting took place, Rahman asked Stewart if he would cut both men's hair for $20 and he would pay him the rest later. When Stewart said no, Rahman told him he would find a new barber, Rahman said.

That's when Stewart got angry and began punching him, Rahman said, adding that his friend intervened.

Rahman said the attack left him with a bloodied face and a black eye.

"I'm never going back there," he said.

But Stewart said that's not what happened and that both the police and Rahman have their facts wrong.

Stewart said Rahman had been in only three or so times and that he generally charged him $15 for a haircut. When Rahman came in with his friend and asked that Stewart give them both haircuts for $20 total, Stewart said he couldn't do it.

Rahman then cursed him and Stewart asked him to leave, Stewart said Monday. Rahman went outside and started banging on the glass front window and door, Stewart said. When Stewart went outside to confront Rahman, "He grabs me by my shirt, starts cursing and starts to swing on me," Stewart said.

Stewart said he never hit Rahman. Rahman's nose was bloodied by his own hand as Stewart struggled to get the man off of him, Stewart said.

"I was defending myself and trying to get him away from me," he said.

Stewart acknowledged he has previously been arrested for battery. In 2001, he was sentenced to a year in jail with four years' probation on a 1999 felony battery charge.

Today, he said he's a hardworking businessman trying to make a go of his 8-month-old barbershop.

"You don't know what I have been through to make sure nothing like this affects my environment," he said.

Stewart said he has witnesses that have not yet been interviewed by police. The incident happened closer to 12:30 p.m., Stewart said, and the police report lists the wrong address. Stewart's business is at 1421 S Missouri Ave., Suite A, but the report lists 1358 S Missouri Ave., which houses another, unrelated barbershop.

Stewart was released from the Pinellas County Jail on Sunday night after posting $10,000 bail.

Stewart said he fears the arrest could damage his business and more importantly, his reputation.

"The only thing I have to stand on is my credibility," he said.

Clearwater barber accused of beating up customer 08/31/09 [Last modified: Monday, August 31, 2009 8:17pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Lightning journal: Plans set for 25th anniversary celebration

    Lightning Strikes

    CHICAGO — The Lightning revealed some of its plans for its 25th anniversary season Friday, including a ceremony to honor the 2004 Stanley Cup team.

    PHILADELPHIA, PA - JUNE 27:  Anthony DeAngelo of the Tampa Bay Lightning poses for a portrait during the 2014 NHL Draft at the Wells Fargo Center on June 27, 2014 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)
  2. Lightning picks defenseman Cal Foote


    While the Lightning is still trying to bolster its blueline via trade, it selected a big, right shot defenseman Cal Foote at No. 14 overall Friday in the NHL Draft.

    Cal Foote is the son of former Avs defenseman Adam Foote.
  3. Kids today: They don't work summer jobs the way they used to


    WASHINGTON — It was at Oregon's Timberline Lodge, later known as a setting in the horror movie The Shining, where Patrick Doyle earned his first real paycheck.

    Teens Ben Testa, from left, Hannah Waring and Abby McDonough, and Wegmeyer Farms owner Tyler Wegmeyer walk the strawberry rows at the Hamilton, Va., farm in late May.
  4. Jeb Bush back in the hunt for the Marlins, now opposing Derek Jeter


    Associated Press:

    Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush has switched sides in pursuit of the Miami Marlins, and he’s trying to beat out former teammate Derek Jeter.

  5. The Lightning's 2017-18 road jersey