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Report: Lawyer Beats Vid Store Owner

January 27, 1998

McLEAN, Va. (AP) _ A State Department lawyer flew into a rage when told he had to pay a late fee at a video store, beating the owner with a plastic movie box and then ramming him into a restaurant window with his car, police say.

The owner, Hassan Mostafavi, 54, was treated for severe cuts and bruises.

Police on Tuesday searched for the customer, Gregory H. Stanton, who was wanted on charges of malicious wounding, destruction of property and larceny.

Stanton, 51, became enraged Saturday night when told he owed a late fee and his video rental card had expired, Officer John Carney said.

Although a clerk waived the fee, Stanton began arguing with Mostafavi, then tried to leave without paying for the movie ``Nothing to Lose,″ the officer said.

``The manager tried to stop him, and he began hitting the manager in the head with the video box,″ Carney said.

Outside, Stanton allegedly hit the manager with his Cadillac. The car knocked Mostafavi into the window of a barbecue restaurant next door, showering him with glass. Stanton backed up and tried to run down Mostafavi a second time before driving away, police said.

``I could not believe it,″ Mostafavi said. ``Why would you want to go for someone’s blood over nothing?″

Before the attack, Stanton told The Washington Post that he was denied tenure at the State Department and was appealing the decision, the newspaper reported Tuesday.

A State Department spokeswoman said Stanton is a junior Foreign Service officer who joined the department in 1992. She had no details about his tenure.

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