Ralph Mowery isn't smiling. He is in the Lorain County Jail facing assault and criminal trespassing charges after some denture drama with the owner and employees at Hanini's Subs in Elyria. Mowery's teeth troubles started on Friday when he went into Hanini's, like he does several times a day, usually to get some beer.
But this time, for some reason, he took his teeth out and set them on the counter. "So, I took them out to show [the store owner] and I set them down and I actually had some food particles and stuff on the, some food particles on them and I wanted to wipe them off, so, I said, 'Gimme a paper towel.' He goes, 'Get them off my counter,' and brushed them off and they fell onto the floor," Mowery said.
Jim Eldu, Hanini's owner, tells a different story. "Basically, [Mowery] was in the back talking to me and he put his dentures on the counter and they fell over. I wouldn't let him pick them up so I picked it up with a cardboard and they kind of flew in front of us and they broke a little which made him irritated," Eldu said. Either way, the dentures went flying through the air and landed on the floor, breaking a chunk out of the gum line.
Mowery wanted the store owner to pay to fix his damaged dentures. "It just got ugly from there," Eldu said, adding the problem really started when Mowery came back. According to Eldu, Mowery was upset and went behind the counter and went to attack an employee named Cliff. Police arrested Mowery at the scene. Mowery insists he didn't assault anyone, and never intended to, but was just giving them a mouthful.