All-You-Can-Eat Crab Legs Are Probably Not Worth 3 Months Of House Arrest

As we’ve already seen, disputes over the exact meaning of the phrase “all you can eat” have led to protests and lawsuits. But things got so bad between two diners at a Pennsylvania Chinese restaurant’s buffet that one of them has been sentenced to house arrest.

The incident, which occurred last summer in East Lampeter Township, PA, just recently made its way to trial, where witnesses shared the full details of what we have decided to call the Crab Leg Calamity of Lancaster County.

The dispute began when one diner, a 48-year-old former Marine, admittedly took all eight remaining crab legs from the buffet while people were in line behind him.

“I cleaned it out,” he testified in court. “You got to get in line pretty quick.”

The customer reportedly told those who complained that the restaurant would be bringing out more crab legs soon.

But that didn’t stop a woman in line from allegedly making rude comments to him.

“She was making references to my weight and me being a pig,” said the man.

That woman’s 21-year-old boyfriend then approached the man at his table, where the older man says the boyfriend was behaving ” like a raging maniac” and threatened to hit him.

He admits to reaching out to calm the younger man down, though lawyers for the defendant say their client was shoved, thus provoking what came next.

The younger man allegedly punched the other gentleman in the face, tackled him into a buffet station and then continued to punch him in the face.

“You couldn’t have felt more demoralized,” he testified. “I wish I would have just given him my crab legs.”

It only took the jury a few hours to find the younger man guilty of simple assault and disorderly conduct. The next day, the judge sentenced him to three months of house arrest for his crimes.

“I learned my lesson,” the defendant said at sentencing. “I should never have said anything. I should have just taken my plate of food — crabs or not — and sat down.”

Testimony: Man assaulted because he took all the crab legs at buffet [LancasterOnline.com]

Crab legs assailant sentenced [LancasterOnline.com]

Thanks to Peter for the tip!

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  1. Blueskylaw says:

    What is this world coming to? People cleaning out an entire tray of food with other people waiting behind them or people who beat the crap out of other diners because they took too much food from an ALL YOU CAN EAT establishment.

    • vastrightwing says:

      The only thing surprising here is that no gun was involved and it didn’t end up on YouTube. Anyone heard of Black Friday?

    • balderdashed says:

      I have no problem with the guy who “cleaned out the entire tray.” He only took eight crab legs — not really a gluttonous amount, especially at an “all you can eat” buffet. If he ordered crab legs somewhere else, a “normal” portion would probably have been at least four crab legs; thus, if two people had helped themselves to a “normal” serving, the result (an empty tray) would have been exactly the same for the next person in line. The fault is with the restaurant for not keeping what is obviously a popular item in adequate supply. It wouldn’t surprise me if they replenish the more expensive items at the buffet somewhat less often, so they can claim they have these items, while hoping people will fill up on cheaper stuff and reduce their costs.

      • Trickydix says:

        I was under the impression that he took all 8 clusters of crab-legs (average 4 to 5 legs a cluster) now that would piss me off too, but I would not hit the guy.

        • Charmander says:

          That’s a lot of crab legs. Knowing that there were people in line, and that there would eventually going to be more crab legs put out, he really should have had the decency to put no more than three on his plate.

          Then, when he had eaten those, he could go get some more. I say this guy is a pig.

          • VHSer says:

            You’re mad at him for eating a lot at a place where you’re supposed to eat a lot ? How much sense does that…not make ? When the trays are empty, they bring more right out. I’m sure the worthless loser could have waited a minute or two.

    • Actionable Mango says:

      Nothing is wrong with people cleaning out the last of an entire tray. In fact, I consider it a favor when someone does that.

      All experienced buffet eaters know that the last bits of food in a tray are the crappiest. Everyone has already taken the best food out of the tray, leaving the dregs. Then the dregs get even worse because they’ve been sitting under the heat lamp the longest and have dried out.

      I personally am happy when some other diner either can’t wait or has low enough standards to pick up all of the last bits in a tray. It means a fresh tray is coming and the rest of can get the best, freshest food again.

      • Carlee says:

        I’ve been to one buffet place where they have only a minimal amount of food in each tray and they’d be constantly refilling the trays. I thought it was weird, but then realized that it was the way to keep things fresh – that way you don’t have full trays sitting there all day long.

        Not sure if the food was just sitting in the kitchen already cooked or what, but it seems like they were cooking new batches all the time.

        That method would probably also distribute the premium items (crab legs, oysters, duck) among more customers, since someone is not going to constantly go get more food each time they bring out a tray.

      • kc2idf says:

        The crab legs at a Chinese buffet are a special case. When fresh ones come out, there will be a handful of diners who come down on them like a swarm of locusts. Every Chinese buffet I have been to but one (which was essentially empty at the time), the crab legs slot is empty for a greater proportion of the time than it isn’t. People get very touchy about it, too, as this incident demonstrates, though I’ve never seen it get physical like this.

  2. Torgonius wants an edit button says:

    Any post like this not containing a link to John Pinette’s Chinese Buffet bit is just a waste of intertube space.

    I’ll fix that now: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TdwuiyO7hOU

    • BrownLeopard says:

      You go now! You been here four hour! Eat up all Moo Goo Gai Pan!

      One of my favorites.

    • There's room to move as a fry cook says:

      Don’t forget the piggies at the buffet in Spirited Away.

    • Costner says:

      I don’t even need to see the clip to know how that one goes. “You been here four hour – you go now!”

      Great stuff. I also love his bit about the Mazda Miata. How that guy hasn’t been more successful than someone like Dane Cook is beyond me.

  3. Beave says:

    As a race, humans are selfish slobs. Every time I start to forget this some family member or another drags me to a buffet restaurant. A few years ago I stood in line behind a legitimately 400lb woman as she dug every single shrimp out of a fresh pan at a Chinese buffet. Around a month ago my grandparents took my wife, kids, and I to a pizza buffet. Same crap, different restaurant. Obese family at the table nearest to the buffet would jump up and grab anything that came out. The matriarch of the group herself took half of a dessert pizza. At first I was trying to justify it to myself that she was going to distribute it to the kids at the table, nope. They cleaned out the rest of it while I had to try to explain to my 4 and 6 year old why they couldn’t have a piece. People suck and all you can eat buffets attract the worst type of people. They’re like the Walmart of sit-down restaurants.

    • CanadianDominic says:

      I don’t live in the United States. What is a dessert pizza, and where can I acquire half a dozen of them?

      • Beave says:

        Pizza crust covered with something to make it like a dessert. Typically strudel toppings like cinnamon crumbs and a drizzle of white frosting. Fruit pie filling like apple, cherry, or blueberry and a drizzle of frosting is also popular. Godfathers Pizza was the first place I ran into it as a kid. Now a lot of chains carry them. Pizza Hut does. Papa Johns has one. We never order them though, so the only time I ever actually eat any is if I end up at a pizza buffet.

      • NickJames says:

        Well the only pizza buffet in my area is Cici’s and their desert pizza is the Cinnamon Apple Pie Pizza and the Bavarian Cream Pizza. (Don’t care for either of them but their Cinnamon rolls *drool*)

      • DogiiKurugaa says:

        It’s basically a sweeter pizza crust topped with pie filling (usually apple or grape around here at least) and brown sugar cinnamon streusel crumbs with vanilla frosting drizzled over it.

      • Jane_Gage says:

        Niagara Falls? Bangor Maine?

      • MickeyMoo says:

        You beat me to it. Inquiring minds NEED to know!

      • runswithscissors says:

        Right here in Canada! Pizza Hut buffet. At least here in Ontario we’ve got em.

    • January says:

      I would of taped them and posted it to youtube. Crap like that goes viral.

      • chefboyardee says:

        I know I’ll probably get yelled at for being a grammar nazi, but for the love of God, it’s would HAVE. Would HAVE.

    • Warren - aka The Piddler on the Roof says:

      “A few years ago I stood in line behind a legitimately 400lb woman as she dug every single shrimp out of a fresh pan at a Chinese buffet.”

      Don’t complain. When the zombie invasion happens, people like this will buy the rest of us a lot of valuable time. ;-D

      • Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

        And then there’s me, an overweight individual who is still highly mobile and relatively healthy, who will outlast most of the thin survivors because I have stored fat for winter. Mwahahahaha!

    • Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

      As a race, we’re genetically inclined to eat whenever food is available, in case it won’t be for prolonged periods. We are not, however, genetically inclined to be able to turn off that part of our genetic makeup. We simply have to try to supress it, which is not always an easy task.

      • Doubting thomas says:

        horseshit!!
        Genetically I am programmed to spread my seed as much as possible, yet I have little difficulty remaining faithful to my wife.
        People that show no consideration for others in this situation are pigs, end of story. Even if there genetic programming is driving them to eat more they can take a little now and a little later. If their self control and willpower is that weak then they are a waste of space and oxygen anyhow.

        • Jules Noctambule says:

          I don’t think you’re really understanding just how intense the drive to obtain and consume food items is within the human animal. Using sexual fidelity as an analogy is an extremely poor comparison; sex only serves to make more of us and won’t keep an individual alive, so it isn’t remotely as important as obtaining food.

          • JJFIII says:

            BULLSHIT! There is no inate drive to eat until you are overly stuffed. In fact, if people ate just what they needed for survival there would be no obesity epidemic. People eat out of boredom, or to fulfill cravings for certain tastes. A 400# person is not eating for hunger. Anybody who believes that is just plain flawed.
            As for saying the survival instinct for food means that a PERSON would not be inclined to share has obviously never lived with animals. I have yet to see my cats attack one another and steal the others food if I put some out for both of them. There are many times they will leave some in their bowl. They eat until they are no longer hungry.
            Of course as HUMANS, it is that ability to use self control that would seem important in society. Based on your “reasoning”, shelter is also a very driving force for survival, so if a person loses their home to foreclosure you are ok with a homeless person breaking into your home and sleeping in your house.

            • Jaynor says:

              Except eating all you can at an all you can eat restaurant isn’t really very close to homeless people breaking into your house.

              Also – yeah – food consumption has a lot of neurochemical reinforcers tied to it… not so much shelter. Sex does too… still not as many though.

            • OnePumpChump says:

              That isn’t what he said.

    • maxamus2 says:

      You can’t compare an entire species to those you find at a freaking buffet.

    • Costner says:

      Not a fan of buffets myself. Most of the food is just brown and warm… tray after tray after tray of brown warm food that often requires you to read a sign to know what it actually is. Why people think a buffet is a good value is beyond me.

      Then again… when I am dragged to a buffet I often witness exactly what you describe. Ginormous fat slobs surround the “good stuff” and brag about hitting the buffet owners where it hurts (which is typically meat and seafood). The salad bar is the only safe haven from these mouth breathers.

      I’ve always had a slogan that applies to 99% of the buffets I’ve ever encountered: “Sure it tastest like shit… but you get a lot of it!”.

      • Difdi says:

        Depends on the buffet. There’s a sushi buffet (Bluefin) near where I live that charges $16 for lunch, and is all-you-can-eat. What’s remarkable about the place is that it’s effectively a 3-star sushi restaurant, where normal sushi buffets are 1.5 stars at most.

        Yeah, $16 a person is a bit expensive, but the quality is the same as most a la carte sushi places in the area, and I’ve never gotten less than $80 of value (estimated from menu prices of 3-star a la carte sushi restaurants) for my $16. Dinner costs $28 per person and adds premium items like snow crab and the like, and is still an amazing deal, though not quite as impressive as the lunch menu.

    • LadySiren is murdering her kids with HFCS and processed cheese says:

      Totally understand and identify with this comment Beave, but I will admit to occasionally taking the herd to a buffet (hey, I have two teenage boys to deal with). We have pretty strict rules though.

      The kiddos are allowed to go back as much as they like, however, they can take only what they’re ACTUALLY going to eat and before they even think of hitting the HFCS dessert bar, they must eat all that they’ve taken. I find this tends to discourage our flock of children from overloading their plates (yay for portion control!) and gets them to eat something other than just sweets.

      My kids know better than to act like greedy piglets while we’re at one of these “fill up the trough” places. If they do? Then they get to eat NOTHING but what I pick out for ‘em. Hi2u, cottage cheese and saltines!

      • Difdi says:

        Heh, that reminds me of me at 13. My family took my grandmother out to a high-end all-you-can-eat buffet for her 60th birthday, and by the end of it, the entire place was staring at me.

        I was a scrawny little thirteen year old boy, looked like a strong wind could knock me over. Didn’t stop me from getting no less than SEVEN full plates of dinner items, followed by SIX trips through the dessert bar with a dessert plate. And yes, I ate every crumb.

        By the end of the evening, I was a spectator sport for the entire restaurant, heh.

  4. ferozadh says:

    ‘Tis no man, ’tis a remorseless eating machine, Arr.

    • Thousand says:

      Hehe that made my day

      • ferozadh says:

        Oh yeah… and “Come for the freak; stay for the food.” lol of course it had to be written by Conan O’Brien.

    • poco says:

      My mind went there immediately as well.

    • MileHighCritic says:

      Hey buddy I have movie for you, It’s called “A Fridge too far”.

      The buffet stories always make me think of the Simpsons.

      “Does this sound like a man who had ALL HE COULD EAT!

  5. areaman says:

    The name of the assaulter… Omar Shabazz Thomas.

    • 8bithero says:

      Going with the xenophobic approach, I see.

      • zibby says:

        Come now. Not everyone with a wacky name is a foreigner!

      • Applekid ┬──┬ ノ( ã‚œ-゜ノ) says:

        Middle names are linked to aggression

        Just look at all those crazy lone shooters and terrorists. John Wilkes Booth, Lee Harvey Oswald, Timothy James McVeigh, John Allen Muhammad…

      • Velvet Jones says:

        No, anybody with Shabazz as their first or middle name are more likely that not a psycho freak. His parents were either Black Panthers or Nation of Islam and raised him to be a menace to society.

    • areaman says:

      I’m disappointed no one went with the onomatopoeia angle. When I was reading the LancasterOnline.com article imaged Mr. Thomas saying Shabazz!!! with every blow landed on the man with the crab legs.

  6. That guy. says:

    I bet if the younger guy was just there on his own, and the crab legs were for himself, this wouldn’t have happened. He acted like a big man because his girlfriend wanted those crab legs.

  7. Lyn Torden says:

    A sign with a rule “Take only ONE crab leg at a time” might have helped the larger man get some exercise he needed.

    • regis-s says:

      You couldn’t make a sign like that big enough or obvious enough for some people to see it.

      • Geekybiker says:

        If I’ve learned one thing its that ‘Signs are for other people’. Everyone seems to ignore them.

        • elangomatt says:

          The signs aren’t there for people to read, the sign is there so that when an employee wants to enforce the rule they have a sign to point at.

          • RedOryx says:

            This. I love being able to point to signs when people are getting mad that I’m not giving in.

            • Difdi says:

              Having a sign doesn’t grant an employee any rights or authority s/he didn’t have already without the sign. It might be good punctuation for arguments with idiots, but that’s all a sign is good for.

              And some signs are illegal or make claims that just aren’t true. Simply having a sign posted doesn’t change the facts.

    • 2 Replies says:

      One crab leg is ridiculous. It’s like an ounce of food.

  8. Warren - aka The Piddler on the Roof says:

    This is absolutely shameful! The ex-Marine should have kicked that little punk’s narrow ass.

    Seriously though, I’ll bet if the situation were reversed Al Sharpton would be there before you could say ‘Snow Crab’. And there’d be a multi-million dollar lawsuit pending.

    The message is clear: “No one should be allowed to take all the crab legs unless it’s me.”

    • That guy. says:

      I did expect the story to take a turn like, “The young man took a swing at the older Marine, who absorbed the punch, and then slamed the young man to the ground.”

      • Applekid ┬──┬ ノ( ã‚œ-゜ノ) says:

        I was expecting to read that the punk tripped on a crab leg and was transported by ambulance to the hospital with two broken arms, a broken leg, possible broken ribs, multiple contusions and assorted lacerations including a broken nose and jaw.

  9. crispyduck13 says:

    I actually surprised at that reletively light sentence. The guy attacked another person over a fucking crab leg. Doesn’t that indicate some kind of inner psycho??

    • Marlin says:

      Probably because the fat guy was the one to first make physical contact (shove or tap depending on who you ask) it was that contact that built up to the other person hitting the fat guy.
      Does not excuse it the hit but does define how it got to that point.

      I think the sentence was fair if the person did not have a criminal history.

      • AtlantaCPA says:

        I think you’re right. Physical contact opens all kinds of doors. I know if I was in an argument with someone and they reached out to touch me, I would feel justified in responding with my own form of “physical contact.” It’s not safe to let someone lay a hand on you and wait to see what their intentions are.

        • StarKillerX says:

          How far do you want to take it? I mean following the same logic if someone gives you a dirty look they could be about to pull out a gun, so maybe I should shoot them first?

          • AtlantaCPA says:

            Way to misinterpret and make an absurd comparison. But I’ve noticed that trend with your comments…

            Still I’ll respond to your query: what I was saying was not ‘preemptive’ but as soon as they touch me I’ll respond – and not with deadly force as you assumed. You assumed a great deal and then multiplied your assumptions to the Nth degree.

  10. mysterydate98 says:

    This disgusts me. I can’t even imagine what this country would turn into if we had a true food shortage and people stood in line for hours just for stale bread and moldy cheese. Someone would probably be killed then.

    Awful, just awful. America, Land of the Entitled and Home of the Ignorant.

    • CalicoGal says:

      “Probably” be killed??

      Psssh!! Of COURSE people would be killed!!!

    • lovemypets00 - You'll need to forgive me, my social filter has cracked. says:

      Let’s hope we never find out, although with the way things are in the world, who knows. I read somewhere that grocery stores have about 3 days worth of food on hand at any one time based on local population, and warehouse/superstores maybe a week. If there’s ever an interruption in interstate commerce, we may see things we don’t want to see.

    • Jane_Gage says:

      I am not adverse to eating the dead or the neighbor’s dog. My genes will pepper the post-apocalyptic landscape like a Mad Max Genghis Khan. /ex-teacher turned cannibalistic mega-survivor

    • Dave on bass says:

      People already get maimed and killed trying to get shit at Walmart on Black Friday – if there’s FOOD at stake I’m assuming it’s only a matter of time before somebody lights an entire mob up with lighter fluid and a match.

      You know, whenever an American complains that America is like this, they’re told they have the freedom to GTFO. I’m an American; call me crazy, but how about instead, we buckle the fuck down and work on being decent people who can all be proud of our country AND countrymen?

      • Traveller says:

        Decency starts at the top and works its way down. When every corrupt politician at every level of government is removed – using force if necessary – from office I will be happy to be a citizen of the United States again. For now, I am ashamed to be a citizen of this country.

  11. akronharry says:

    Look around you. There are more fat people walking around these days or maybe I notice it more because they are no longer ashamed about being pigs and wear clothes that are too small for them. They proudly display their rolls and think they are “hot”.

    • vastrightwing says:

      Please, I’m about to eat my lunch.

    • Jaynor says:

      35.7% of U.S. adults are obese, not overweight… obese. 2/3 of all U.S. adults are overweight.

      Pretty much you are bound to see more overweight people walking around… because that’s most of everyone if you live here.

      The question about whether 2/3 of people should be ashamed of themselves and wear only Mumus or other concealing garments is another thing altogether. Standards in beauty change over time. What was hot to the Ancient greeks is not what was hot in the 80s and is not necessarily what’s hot now.

      I suspect that with American’s growing waistbands there will be more of a “large and beautiful” influence… so yeah, people probably wont cover up. You will probably need to get used to this if you happen to be in the minority of people who aren’t overweight.

      • RayanneGraff says:

        God I hope you’re wrong. Big may be beautiful, but chafed thighs, edemic legs, and flesh that resembles uncooked biscuit dough is NOT beautiful.

        • Jaynor says:

          Lol, maybe not to you… but you can become accustomed to anything really.

          Give it 20 years and see where you peg beauty (also where society does)… who knows.

          Then again maybe by then we’ll stop subsidizing farm products that lead to obesity (Corn, Potatoes… I’m looking at you here) and they’ll develop some drug that turns off the drive to consume more (I don’t honestly think that, barring a global food shortage, we’ll reduce U.S. overweight/obese percentages without one or both of those measures).

      • madanthony says:

        to be fair, the overweight/obese numbers are based on BMI. While BMI is a good rough guide, it’s not perfect, and it does tend to classify certain people who are probably at or close to a reasonable/not unhealthy weight as overweight, especially if they are unusually short or muscular.

    • Aliciaz777 says:

      I know. I see it all the time too and it’s disgusting. I’m 5’0″ and weigh 100 pounds soaking wet, I have the body to wear the types of clothes those people do but guess what? I don’t! Know why? Because I don’t feel comfortable walking around showing so much of my body and I know that showing too much skin may make other people uncomfortable.

      A few weeks ago my family and I went to a magic show. The magician asked for a volunteer and picked this obese woman from the audience. She gets on stage and she’s wearing a tight spehler to strap tank top and spandex shorts that showed the bottom of her ass cheeks. The entire time she was on stage she kept pulling her tank top down to cover her belly and kept pulling her shorts down because they kept riding up her ass. Here’s a hint: if you have to constantly pull at your clothes, they’re too small and you shouldn’t be wearing them!

    • Conformist138 says:

      See, I would be fine with this statement if several of my friends and I didn’t have this issue: smaller people insisting that clothing that fits correctly is “too tight and too revealing”. Somehow, when a person is just ugly for whatever reason, but a normal weight, no one is allowed to tell them to wear a face mask without being called a jerk. But if someone is fat, others are seemingly allowed to tell them that they have to wear long sleeves and long pants in August. I’m a size 16, my best friend is a size 20. We are active (swim at least twice a week, walk a lot, and work jobs that are probably more physical than the average person) and wear clothes that fit, but we’ve experienced too many truly mean people who only insist we wear larger clothes because they aren’t personally attracted to larger women and would rather we just were out of their sight entirely. People who insist we shouldn’t ever wear tank tops or shorts despite the heat not because the clothing is inappropriate, but because others think they have the right to demand a world free of the sight of a fat arm. Also, the rules seem different for women. A man can be big but still “manly” or “burly” for quite awhile before he tips the scale into “fatass” or “pig”. A woman only has to be literally average for people to start in with the judgement and insistence that she is disgusting.

      Perhaps, instead of turning your nose up at people less fortunate than yourself in the body type department, just be nice? It’s not nice to tell small people that a lot of them look like shriveled mummies, and it’s horrible to say that thin girls in teeny-tiny booty shorts are the devil’s whores. So, why is it somehow just fine to tell a heavy person that wearing perfectly normal clothing makes them look disgusting just because their arms or legs can be seen, or write off all big people as pigs? Other humans are not here for your personal satisfaction.

  12. Ilovegnomes says:

    Someone got crabby at the buffet line. Sorry, I couldn’t resist.

    • weathergirl says:

      Best comment award goes to… Ilovegnomes!

    • Applekid ┬──┬ ノ( ã‚œ-゜ノ) says:

      He should have kept his claws to himself

      • Cor Aquilonis says:

        I know that if I seafood at the buffet (that I shelled out a lot of money for) then some guy pinches it all; well, I would be crabby, too.

      • LadySiren is murdering her kids with HFCS and processed cheese says:

        I’m sorry, there’s just something fishy about this story.

  13. kranky says:

    I think the point is to simply accept that many people go to buffets to beat the system. There will always be people who take all the crab legs, shrimp, or any other perceived delicacy so they get the self-satisfaction of thinking they got more than their money’s worth. They won’t let up either, so that others can have some. They see it as a survival-of-the-fittest event.

    I am not a frequent buffet eater but when I do go I see that type of person every time.

    I tried this once and it worked: after seeing two people from the same table swooping down to clean out the buffet each time they brought out more shrimp, I asked the buffet stocking person if he would just put out half of the pile next time, and after Bulko and Bulkina had gone back to empty the bowl, then put out the rest.

  14. Sorta Kinda Lucky Soul says:

    The other side of the coin is this; I have it directly from two different Chinese Buffet owners that they purposely put out far less crab legs than would satisfy the demand of the diners since, in one’s words, “Crab legs expensive, chicken and rice cheaper.” The thought is that by making diners wait for the expensive stuff they’ll fill up on the other, higher profit items.

    • regis-s says:

      This is hardly new. I remember going to chinese smorgasbords thirty years ago and this happened. They would put out a few deep fried prawns and it would be ages before anymore came out.

      Same with the customers. The first two or three would clean them out.

    • elangomatt says:

      This exactly. I wish Chinese food buffet places had never put crab legs on the buffet in the first place. I love crab legs as much as the next person, but I can probably count on one hand the number of times in the last couple years that I’ve seen more than 1 or 2 little scrawny crab legs in that spot on the buffet when I’ve been getting my food. If they do bring out more crab legs, 2 or 3 people usually literally run to the buffet and fill their plates up and then it doesn’t get refilled until all of those people leave the premises.

  15. That guy. says:

    I gotta say, I’m irritated that what most of you are taking from this story is that Americans are fat, and this guy took all the crab legs.

    I thought the whole part where a guy was assaulted for his crab legs was the biggest issue. And for all when know, that guy (and his girlfriend) are skinny.

    • doctor_cos wants you to remain calm says:

      Assaulted for his crab legs? Hey, yeah they’re not the prettiest legs, but c’mon.

    • ugly says:

      It seems to me that he assaulted (in the sense you’re using the word) the other guy first. If you put your hand to someone, you’re escalating the issue.

      The other problem is that these guys are both morons. It’s like when 2 bad drivers get near each other. It always escalates and becomes a pissing contest. 2 morons at the buffet apparently have the same effect.

  16. webweazel says:

    It’s called simple human COURTESY. If he went to the buffet and there were only 8 bunches of legs left and there are people waiting, he should take only ONE OR TWO, so others can have some also, sit down and eat them, then go back for more when they are brought out from the kitchen. I believe this is incredibly rude behavior towards others, and I don’t blame the dude for calling him on it. The resulting brawl was way out of line, of course, but the principle is the same.

    • CalicoGal says:

      The crab legs tray is NEVER full. They bring out some, those get taken; they bring out fried rice, lo mein, mixed veg, more fried rice….
      *cricket cricket*
      chicken and broccoli…. NO MORE CRAB LEGS.

      This is how they make money… people fill up on the cheap grub while waiting for the never-coming crab legs!

      They probably put out a dozen clumps of crab legs even though there were 50 diners!!

      • StarKillerX says:

        So, that justifies a “screw you, I got mine” attitude?

        • Jaynor says:

          Welcome to capitalism, we have a lady running the coat-check for your ethics over by the designated smoking area. Enjoy your stay!

        • webweazel says:

          Why yes, yes it does.
          Add up the other people in the same establishment with the same attitude, and here we are brawling.

      • Jane_Gage says:

        In the earthly paradise known as Deerfield Beach the sushi areas at Chinese buffets are always full.

        • webweazel says:

          Dig it!

          Huge varieties of sushi, crab legs, raw oysters, clams, baked salmon, stuffed flounder, pick-n-peel shrimp, roast beef, etc. If somebody goes to the buffet just to be a selfish pig on the crab legs, they’re doing it wrong.

      • webweazel says:

        I can obviously see that you are one of “those people” who goes to the buffet and piles his plate high with 13 of them at once. Good until you hit about the third bunch because after that the rest of them are ice cold all the way to the bottom. Add to it the plastic-flavored “butter” that is now also ice cold. Disgusting. Taking one or two at a time, you can eat them hot or at least warm, and warm up your plastic butter while you’re there. AND the added bonus is you can be courteous to the other people who want them, also.

        I’ve never had one bit of trouble getting crab legs at any buffet if the crab PRICE IS DIFFERENT from the regular buffet price. Most people don’t want to spring for the extra $$$ for the legs, and the bin is usually full to the brim. You’ll have better luck at those places.

        • CalicoGal says:

          Actually, the buffet makes money off me— I don’t make a pig of myself, and I prefer the veg entrees. I’d take about 2–3 crab leg clumps at and none of that yellow “buttery gunk.” Lord knows what that is!!

    • balderdashed says:

      Your “take ONE OR TWO” out of “simple human courtesy” argument would make sense — if we were all shipwrecked at sea, and there was only so much food to go around, and we were all at the mercy of fate. But that’s not the case: the restaurant has plenty of crab legs, promotes their availability to draw you in, but wants to artificially limit the supply without admitting it. If everybody plays nice and “takes one or two,” the restaurant can continue to limit the supply — and everybody gets less. But if everybody takes as much as they want (the premise behind an all-you-can-eat buffet) — and enough customers let management know they’re upset that more crab legs aren’t available and perhaps ask for their money back — the restaurant has to put out more crab legs. Everybody gets more. Your “take one or two” strategy might be appreciated by the restaurant, but is a disservice to everybody else. And that’s hardly courteous.

  17. corridor7f says:

    Is is just me or isn’t going to a buffet supposed to make people embrace their inner pig?

    Also, if your mouthy gf can’t shut her trap, let her fight her own battles. Lesson learned.

    • buggurl says:

      Not necessarily. To me, going to a buffet means I get to try little bits of a lot of different food items that I might not normally order…not see how many plates of food I can stuff in my face.

  18. StarKillerX says:

    So basically the story is that one person did something douchey and got a rude surprise to find out that an even douchier person was there.

    • elangomatt says:

      Good summary. The thing I think is funny is that if the marine hadn’t cleaned out the crab leg tray, I bet the “douchery” person behind him probably would have cleaned the tray out anyway. The second person was just pissed that he got beat to the crab legs.

  19. Outrun1986 says:

    Ugh Buffet’s are the scum of the earth, I haven’t been to one in over 10 years, and I don’t look forward to going to one every again. Most of the buffet’s over here are $20 or more per adult, I can get a much better meal that will fill me up at almost any restaurant here for less than that. Also EVERY SINGLE TIME my family has gone to a buffet all of us have gotten sick from it, every single time. We learned to stay away.

    Also, although it would never happen, all you can eat buffet’s need to be pay-by-pound, fat people will obviously eat more at a buffet, so they should pay more. A 100lb person will not consume as much as a 400lb person, so they shouldn’t be charged the same price. IMO this is just the fair way to do it, especially since as previous comments suggest the 400lb person is capable of consuming half the food or more of all the food at the whole buffet. They should definitely be paying more than the 100lb person in this case. They do have some buffet’s where children pay per pound, or at least they did when I was a kid, but I have never seen one where adults pay per pound.

    • Sorta Kinda Lucky Soul says:

      You, sir, have obviously never seen teenagers eat, especially teenage boys. We took a senior league baseball team to a buffet and they completely cleaned it out. That restaurant was SO happy to see us leave.

      • frankrizzo:You're locked up in here with me. says:

        You got that right. I was a volunteer coach at the Boys and Girls club for a while. The 15-16 year olds won our region’s softball tourney so we took them to an all-you-can-eat pizza and chicken buffet. OH MY GOD. KEEP YOUR HANDS AND FEET AWAY FROM THEIR MOUTHS!!!

        The highlight of the night were the twins. 15 y.o. 6’2″ 150 lbs consuming machines. Felt bad for their parents. Older bro was a monster and lil sis was going to be a skyscraper, too.

    • Jules Noctambule says:

      I see you haven’t met my friend Ken, who competes in competitive eating events. At 5’9″, 160, he can put away 12 tacos in around 8 minutes, a 3 pound doughnut in the same time frame and up to 32 plates of shrimp in a couple of hours (probably more, too, but he’d already won). He routinely puts away more calories in a meal than I do in a day, yet he’s not even remotely a large guy.

  20. n0th1ng says:

    First World Problems

  21. Razor512 says:

    it is best to avoid eating at an all you can eat place.

    their business model is based on charging a high up front cost, then putting out a lot of cheap crappy food, then a few bits of good food that is not even enough for 2 people.

    They then put more of the good stuff out probably once an hour. this makes you spend a ton of money for probably some bread and water and give up when you get tired of waiting for better food.

    I know a few people who work in restaurants with all you can eat areas.
    A worker will actually get scolded by the manager if they put too much of the good food out at once, or if they get caught cooking too much good food. The more expensive foods which are the ones that the customers actually want are only made in small amounts and they can only put them out once in a while in the hopes of getting customers to fill up on the cheaper items and leave/ get tired of waiting for the food that they were hoping to get.

    If they wanted to, they could make enough food where there would be no rush to the line, but that is not as profitable.

  22. Mr. Spy says:

    Hmm, so he reached out and touched an angry man. Whether push or “comfort” he touched someone in a situation where escalation was going nuts. The other guy retaliated to battery.

    Ugh. I’m pretty sure that’s the legal answer.

    But cmon. First off, don’t be a inconsiderate douchebag hog taking up all the food and ruining the experience for everyone else.
    Second, do not lay hands on anyone. Nobody is buying the, “Comforting him” story. You started a physical alterction by touching him. And you started it with someone fitter and younger than you. Stupid.
    But everyone in this situation appear to be douchebags. What kind of jerk can’t let something like this go. What kind of person approached a old person at a table to continue a fight. What kind of person keeps punching an old fat man after a single hit

  23. maxamus2 says:

    Are you talking 8 individual legs or 8 clumps of legs? Because 8 “legs” would be like 2 sets and usually at the crab places people take 3 to 5 sets at a time.

    If it was 8 clumps of legs, yes, the guy was being rude, but again, at a buffet, anything goes.

    • dolemite says:

      I don’t think “anything goes” at a buffet. People can’t just pick up the serving tray and take it back to their table. There will be more crab legs. Grab a serving and go back to your table and let other people that paid their money get some too.

  24. atomoverride says:

    ok he should sue the resturant. as this happens all the damn time at every all you can eat place. they have a “special” night lets just say crab legs or fried shirmp or even steak. But they never keep it “stocked” instead they like to see if they can WAIT people out. Only releasing just a small amount to keep the illusion of all you can eat.

    I think its the resurants fault and you should sue the pants off them for breeding this kind of thing from happening. Fight the power!

  25. oldtaku says:

    The Marine is lucky it wasn’t a little old Asian lady behind him. I was dragged to an Asian buffet once (Todai – mmmm, rock hard sushi sitting out on trays!) where they had crab legs, and it was astounding to watch them viciously fight for the crab legs, and the huge piles they could put away. Not eating anything else in the buffet. Not sure if that was a special or what, but I’ll always remember it… and fear!

  26. dush says:

    I like the idea of house arrest for people. They still have to keep paying for their own food, utilities, medical expenses, etc but are denied their freedom to leave whenever they want.

  27. TerpBE says:

    If you’re looking for a buffet in Lancaster and choose to go to Star Buffet, you’d probably also eat at Sbarro if you were in Italy.

    • ZachPA says:

      This, and definitely this. Star Buffet is probably the worst of the worst of the Asian buffet-style restaurants, though my experience with all of them is that most of the food I’d feel uncomfortable feeding to my canine.

      I run a restaurant, and so before I eat at any other restaurant, I check Pennsylvania’s online food safety inspection reports to see what their record is like. See https://www.pafoodsafety.state.pa.us/web/inspection/publicinspectionsearch.aspx and search for Star Buffet.

      In the past two years, the majority of their inspections have come after someone complained about the eatery, and the worst inspection indicated there were roach-like insects found in utensil drawers and rice bins, the facility had improper location of insect-bait or trapping devices near food, and that the back door was open for ingress of all sorts of creepy-crawlers. Worst is that all four of those violations were REPEAT violations. And, they were holding some fridges at 52 degrees, well above the 41 degree requirement. In my exposure to many different restaurants, my experience tells me that even though these inspection reports are snapshots of the day, typically the day-to-day operation is very similar.

      That said, the real question is, is it worth 3 months of house arrest to avoid unloading your entire gastrointestinal tract every hour on the hour for several days because the food you would have consumed was tainted?

  28. kranky says:

    At a restaurant outside Shallotte NC last year, our extended family went to dinner on all-you-can-eat crab legs night. Three of the 12 in the group had the unlimited crab legs (it wasn’t a buffet, it was table service). To my amazement, not only did the waitress dutifully keep coming back to see who wanted more crab legs, after two hours (yes, really, they were eating the whole time) the cook yelled out from the kitchen to us “If y’all want more crab legs before the waitress comes around, just let me know.” I witnessed epic levels of consumption with not a peep from the establishment. The crab legs dinner was $30 but I think they lost money on all three who ordered it.

  29. RayanneGraff says:

    She was making references to my weight and me being a pig,” said the man.

    Oh, you don’t like being called a pig? Then don’t behave like a pig & clean out an entire entree at a buffet. I don’t care if it’s an all you can eat buffet, it’s selfish & inconsiderate. People who do that deserve whatever happens to them. I really don’t see what his being an ex-marine has to do with this either. He did something shitty & people rightfully called him on it. Just because someone was in the military at one time doesn’t automatically make them infallible & immune to criticism.

    I hate buffets for this very reason. There’s always some selfish fatass(usually a whole family of selfish fatasses) that cleans out all the best dishes. Then the rest of the diners have to watch the buffet like a hawk to make sure they get some whenever they put out more before some other lardo swoops in & takes it all again. HAVE SOME MANNERS, PEOPLE!

    • Outrun1986 says:

      I have to agree, I wouldn’t care if the person was 400lbs or what they looked like, if they didn’t take half of the serving tray or the whole serving tray at the same time! But when you are 400lbs, and you take half of one kind of food or god forbid the whole serving tray of food then it is very hard not to make a judgement there, I think most people would agree with this statement. What is wrong with taking a small portion of a few different foods, or at least a respectable portion of your favorite, sitting down to eat it and then going back for more so other people can get a chance. This is about being respectful towards other diners.

    • Aliciaz777 says:

      I haven’t been to a buffet in years because of crap like this. A fresh tray of something good comes out and a few people clean it out. Like I really like paying $25 to $30 for a buffet with nothing left but mashed potatoes and beef. I can make that at home for half the price. When I go to a buffet it’s for the good stuff, yet the good stuff is gone quicker than you can get to the buffet because Mr. & Mrs. Jumbo and their little jumbettes run to the buffet and pile it all onto their plates. It’s just not worth getting the aggravation.

    • dks64 says:

      Yep.

  30. gman863 says:

    Ex-Marine punches out rival over a case of the crabs. Details at eleven.

  31. dolemite says:

    I’ve seen this at a buffet once. A certain group of male individuals at a table would go up to the buffet and absolutely clean out just the crab legs as soon as they were brought out. Their entire table was piled high with plates and shells. They ate nothing else but crab legs, and made it very hard for anyone else in the place to get any until they were done eating. Whereas most people go up and get perhaps a batch at a time, they would get half the serving tray per person.

  32. baristabrawl says:

    I’ve never understood the craze for crab legs. I’ve never ordered them when I was out to eat. They’re too much work for such a little reward. However, if you eat all of the General Tso’s Chicken, I’ll shank you with a chopstick. Please make a note of it.

    • Outrun1986 says:

      Honestly, I don’t even like crab legs! So really, I don’t care if someone in the restaurant takes them all. I have been to buffets and tried them before, it was such a big thing that you almost felt obligated to take at least one crab leg and at least try to eat it.

  33. Kuri says:

    Glad I’m not like that. I stop then I get full.

  34. Sad Sam says:

    I post only to tell you about the best breakfast/brunch buffet in the world. Its at the Breakers in Palm Beach, it costs $150 a person and I would suggest not eating the day before and allocating 2-3 hours.

    The lobster mac and cheese is so delish I had seconds. Otherwise, I did my best not to do any repeats. And like others have noted, I totally went for the money items first, shrimp, caviar, crab cakes, stone crab claws, smoked oysters. Yummy, I’m getting hungry just thinking about it. I totally stayed away from the breakfast stuff until the end, and even their cheesy scrambled eggs were to out of this world.

    And being that it costs $150 and being that its at a 5 diamond resort there was no bad behavior in site.

  35. Outrun1986 says:

    Ok, to be fair there is a casino buffet here that does constantly fill the crab legs. I know they are expensive but I have tried them, and honestly I don’t even like them, so there is no point in me eating food that I do not like just because it is a money item. Yes it was clear that some people were there only for the crab legs, but the buffet constantly refilled them and the crab legs had a much larger serving tray than other foods so they could keep more in stock. This buffet also keeps most foods in stock, as it is very busy so people who take the whole tray of something is not an issue. I was amazed at the huge toppling plates of crab legs that people would eat though. What I do like is desserts, so after sampling some of the foods, if I am going to gorge at a buffet (this is about a once a year thing for me, or once every 2 years), I am heading right to the dessert table, I may place desserts at my table while I consume some regular food so I don’t miss out on something that is close to being gone. I do not take a huge portion of anything and clean it out though. When I was there it was about $17 a person though I suspect the cost is about $25-30 per person now. I don’t visit this buffet anymore as my family has sworn off buffets as I mentioned previously.

  36. frodolives35 says:

    Crab rage. I guess I could understand crab rage if some one gave you a case of them but this is just stupid I hope this guy lives in an infested sh*thole with no heat or air.

  37. technoreaper says:

    Trailer trash…

  38. DragonThermo says:

    Wait, what? The Jarhead wasn’t convicted and thrown in the brig? WTH?!

    Knowing how irritable I get when I’m hypoglycemic, I can empathize with the Crab Leg Defender. Maybe it was the Jarhead bogarting the entire batch of crab legs that was the straw that broke the camel’s back.

  39. feetmonkey says:

    I avoid the crab leg bucket when I’m at a Chinese buffet. Yeah, I like them and I would like to have them, but I’d rather get some food and eat instead of waiting around for something specific. I’m at a buffet – the pinnacle of gustatory instant gratification! I’m not waiting for shit. :-p

  40. lincolnparadox says:

    Trust me, the crab Marine was falling on a grenade for the whole restaurant. There is a ton of iodine and heavy metals in low-cost, “luxury” seafood. The Marine was acting as a patriot, suffering crippling diarrhea at his home, so the other patrons didn’t have to suffer it at their homes. Unless they ate the shrimp.

  41. glitterpig says:

    What is wrong with people? Just yesterday some woman yelled at me for getting a half-dozen doughnuts. At Dunkin’ Donuts. You know, a place that gives you doughnuts in exchange for money. But I was taking them all! Someone else might want some! She wasn’t even buying doughnuts, she was just waiting for her coffee order to be ready.