Mount Pleasant restaurant owner arrested, accused of assaulting employee

William Gillespie (Charleston County Detention Center)

The franchise owner of Mount Pleasant restaurant Urban Cookhouse has been arrested on an assault and battery charge.

According to police records, 35-year-old William Gillespie Jr., is accused of physically assaulting an employee while in possession of a gun in July 2018.

The incident happened inside the Urban Cookhouse restaurant on Bowman Road in Mount Pleasant.

The victim claims the assault was sexual in nature.

According to police, Gillespie cornered the victim inside a small office, pulled down the victim's pants, struck the victim several times on the buttocks, and slammed the victim's head repeatedly against a wall.

During the assault, the victim claims Gillespie lifted his shirt to reveal a holstered pistol around his waist.

In-store surveillance video and visible injuries on the employee corroborating the accusations led Mount Pleasant Police to obtain warrants for Gillespie's arrest on the assault charge.

The victim also reports an assault by Gillespie in July 2018 and stated Gillespie raped the victim in 2016, police say.

However, Mount Pleasant Police say they did not have enough evidence to go forward with charges on that claim.

Police say they are also investigating additional claims Gillespie has been stealing money from the restaurant, based on interviews with witnesses related to the assault case.

Gillespie turned himself into police on the assault charge October 8. He has since been released from jail on his own recognizance after a judge set his bond at $15,000.

Police say the case is still under investigation.

Urban Cookhouse is a chain of restaurants with locations in South Carolina, North Carolina, Georgia, Tennessee and Alabama.

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