Carrabba's co-founder arrested twice in 2 days

DRIFTWOOD, Texas (KHOU) – Damian Mandola, co-founder of Houston-based Carrabba's, was arrested again over the weekend in Driftwood, Texas.

It was his second arrest in as many days.

On Thursday, Mandola was charged with burglary after allegedly stealing a bottle of wine from the Duchman Family Winery. The winery is near his Trattoria Lisina restaurant in the Hill Country.

Mandola, 61, was released Thursday night after posting a $5,000 bond.

On Saturday, a Duchman representative said Mandola came back with a hammer and threatened employees. He used the hammer to smash out the window of an employee's truck and used a knife to slash its tires, according to witnesses. He also damaged a sign.

An employee sent KHOU photos showing Mandola carrying a hammer and a knife.

"Damian's harassment of winery staff is old news, but this is an extreme escalation," the representative said. "Hopefully seeing this will motivate his friends and family to help put a stop to it before he hurts somebody."

Mandola left, but deputies were ready for him when he returned to the winery during a wedding Saturday night. He was arrested and charged with assault with a deadly weapon and criminal mischief.

Mandola was released from jail after posting a $15,000 bond.

According to the Houston Press, Mandola was once a co-owner of the Duchman Family Winery. He left after a falling out with the other owner. Mandola went to court to try to evict the current owners, according to the Press.

Mandola co-founded Carrabba's in 1986 with his nephew Johnny Carrabba. He is no longer involved with the Carrabba's empire.


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