The CEO of Dallas-based Vandely Hospitality Group, Hunter Pond, is wanted by police in Mountain Village, a municipality of Telluride, CO. The San Miguel County Sheriff’s office posted the wanted notice on social media on January 20, but removed it on January 26 for unknown reasons. According to the warrant, Pond is facing misdemeanor charges of harassment and disorderly conduct related to an incident that occurred in October.
While the Mountain Village police and city attorney did not respond to questions from Eater Dallas, they did tell the Dallas Morning News on Thursday that Pond was still wanted.
Pond’s attorney, Jason Friedman, shared a statement with Eater Dallas regarding the incident, which claims that Pond was in Telluride in October 2022 with his family for a wedding. While walking back to their hotel, a woman driving down the road veered towards Pond and his wife and two children, coming within two feet of them and then continuing on without stopping to see if they were injured after the incident, according to the statement.
“Subsequently, at their hotel, Mr. Pond saw the same woman again stopping in front of his hotel,” the statement says. “At that point, Mr. Pond addressed the woman and voiced his displeasure with her actions. Thereafter, Mr. Pond went to sleep in his room and left Colorado the next day. He was not issued a ticket nor did the police search for Mr. Pond to interview him about the incident. Mr. Pond was not aware that the reckless driver filed a misdemeanor complaint about his interaction with her after she nearly hit his kids. Mr. Pond has filed suit against the woman for assault and negligence and expects to be vindicated.”
Friedman shared a copy of what he says is a lawsuit on behalf of his client as well, in which Pond is seeking damages of over $1 million for assault and negligence. When asked if his client has plans to speak to the police about the incident and why he had not cleared up the warrant, Friedman didn’t respond.
This follows a still-open 2021 lawsuit filed against Vandelay Hospitality by Glenn Govias, a former employee, who alleges the company fosters a culture “shot through with racism, sexism, homophobia, and outright disdain for its employees.” Govias was the general manager at Drake’s Hollywood and accuses the company of discriminating against both employees and customers, alleging that corporate managers at the Vandelay group would insist on firing employees based on gender and race, as well as physical appearance, and that restaurants would reject reservations from customers with “African-American, Middle Eastern, or Hispanic heritage” based on their names. Vandelay Hospitality denies the claims in the suit.
Vandelay Hospitality recently opened its first property, a Hudson House, in Los Angeles, and plans to continue expanding with a Drake’s coming to the city soon. Anchor Bar is its next opening planned for Dallas, with two locations in 2023.