Toki Underground Chef Erik Bruner-Yang Arrested in Domestic Dispute

A Wednesday morning incident at the home of Bruner-Yang's ex-girlfriend led to his arrest on an assault charge.

Erik Bruner-Yang at Toki Underground. Photograph by Kyle Gustafson.

The popular chef behind the H Street hotspot Toki Underground was arrested by DC police following a Wednesday morning domestic dispute at the Petworth home of Bruner-Yang’s ex-girlfriend.

According to Metropolitan Police Department documents, Erik Bruner-Yang, 28, and his wife, Seda Nak, 27, knocked on the door of Yang’s ex-girlfriend around 7 AM Wednesday morning. The responding officer’s report alleges that after the ex-girlfriend opened the door, Nak “rushed in her house and pushed her.” As they entered the house, the victim’s fiancé became involved, pushing Nak out of the house. He then went outside and asked the couple to leave, whereupon Bruner-Yang swung and hit the fiancé in the head with a “closed fist,” according to the police report. Nak then tried to hit him unsuccessfully, before Bruner-Yang “jumped on his back and began to choke” the fiancé, the report says. That knocked the fiancé to the ground, where Nak allegedly kicked and punched him, before she and Bruner-Yang fled the scene. The fiancé suffered a minor injury, according to the police report.

The charges listed on the MPD incident report were simple assault and felony burglary. According to court records, Bruner-Yang was arraigned in court this afternoon on a charge of simple assault and will next appear in court in mid-July. Attempts to reach out to Bruner-Yang directly and through his publicists have so far been unsuccessful; Washingtonian will update the story if we hear from him.

The victim, according to the police report, lived with Bruner-Yang for more than three years, prior to his relationship and marriage to Nak earlier this month. The restaurant, according to its Twitter feed, was closed on June 1 for his wedding.