Ex-Georgetown ANC charged in threat to shoot restaurant owner, ‘Muslims standing outside’

D.C. police cars are seen in this February 2016 WTOP file photo. (WTOP/Dave Dildine)
Former Georgetown Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner Bill Starrels has been charged with threatening to kill the owner of a Middle Eastern restaurant, “and the Muslims standing outside.”

Charging documents in D.C. Superior Court showed that at around midnight on May 24, Starrels entered Charcoal Town Hookah and Shawarma on 31st St. NW, “and was very irate, complaining of noise and loud talk coming from within the restaurant.”

The restaurant’s owner, Bashar Mehiar, told police that Starrels threatened to shoot him and his customers.

“I am going to shoot you, your customers, and the Muslims standing outside,” he said

According to the affidavit in support of an arrest warrant, D.C. police said two witnesses, who work at the restaurant, overheard Starrels threaten to shoot Mehiar.

Starrels is charged with attempted threats to do bodily harm, a misdemeanor.

The restaurant owner said Starrels has been asked several times in the past not to return to the restaurant “due to his harassing behavior.”

Starrels was an ANC commissioner from 2000 through 2017, when he was defeated in an election.

Starrels pleaded not guilty when arraigned on Aug. 13.

“Mr. Starrels adamantly denies these allegations — he did not threaten anyone,” defense attorney Joseph Gonzalez told WTOP. “He looks forward to the opportunity to establish his innocence.”

Like WTOP on Facebook and follow @WTOP on Twitter to engage in conversation about this article and others.

© 2019 WTOP. All Rights Reserved. This website is not intended for users located within the European Economic Area.

Neal Augenstein

Neal Augenstein has been a reporter at WTOP since 1997. Through the years, Neal has covered many of the crimes and trials that have gripped the region. Neal's been pleased to receive awards over the years for hard news, feature reporting, use of sound and sports.

Federal News Network Logo

More from WTOP

Log in to your WTOP account for notifications and alerts customized for you.

Sign up