Last Updated: 1:17 PM, November 10, 2009
Posted: 2:57 AM, November 10, 2009
A prominent Columbia architecture professor punched a female university employee in the face at a Harlem bar during a heated argument about race relations, cops said yesterday.
Police busted Lionel McIntyre, 59, for assault yesterday after his bruised victim, Camille Davis, filed charges.
McIntyre and Davis, who works as a production manager in the school's theater department, are both regulars at Toast, a popular university bar on Broadway and 125th Street, sources said.
The professor, who is black, had been engaged in a fiery discussion about "white privilege" with Davis, who is white, and another male regular, who is also white, Friday night at 10:30 when fists started flying, patrons said.
McIntyre, who is known as "Mac" at the bar, shoved Davis, and when the other patron and a bar employee tried to break it up, the prof slugged Davis in the face, witnesses said.
"The punch was so loud, the kitchen workers in the back heard it over all the noise," bar back Richie Velez, 28, told The Post. "I was on my way over when he punched Camille and she fell on top of me."
The other patron involved in the dispute said McIntyre then took a swing at him after he yelled, "You don't hit a woman!"
"He knocked the glasses right off my face," said the man, who would only give his first name as "Shannon." "The punch came out of nowhere. Mac was talking to us about white privilege and what I was doing about it -- apparently I wasn't doing enough."
McIntyre had squabbled with Davis several weeks earlier over issues involving race, witnesses said. As soon as the professor threw the punch Friday, server Rob Dalton and another employee tossed him out.
"It was a real sucker punch," Dalton said. "Camille's a great lady, always nice to everybody, and doesn't deserve anything like this."
Davis was spotted wearing sunglasses yesterday to conceal the black eye. Reached at her Columbia office, she declined to comment on the alleged attack.
McIntyre was released without bail at his arraignment last night.
"It was a very unfortunate event," he said afterwards. "I didn't mean for it to explode the way it did."
Additional reporting by Sarah Makuta