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Police Allege Vandelay Hospitality CEO Hunter Pond Spit in the Face of the Woman He’s Suing

A driver alleges that Pond threatened to drag her out of her car in Colorado — and it’s all on video, apparently

Hudson House Los Angeles Grand Opening
Vandelay Hospitality Group CEO Hunter Pond at the opening of the first Hudson House in Los Angeles in January 2023.
Vivien Killilea/Getty Images for Vandelay Hospitality Group
Courtney E. Smith is the editor of Eater Dallas. She's a journalist of 20 years who was born and raised in Texas, with bylines in Pitchfork, Wired, Esquire, Yahoo!, Salon, Refinery29, and more. When she's not writing about food, she co-hosts the podcast Songs My Ex Ruined.

Colorado district court records obtained by D Magazine reveal new details about Vandelay Hospitality CEO Hunter Pond’s arrest warrant stemming from an incident that occurred in October 2022.

In January, Mountain Township police, near Telluride, CO, posted on social media that Pond had a warrant out for his arrest for misdemeanor charges of harassment and disorderly conduct. Pond’s attorney, Jason Friedman, shared a new copy of the lawsuit he filed on behalf of his client, including a stamp from a Dallas County district clerk, which included some details of the events of that day.

At the time, local police declined to share any information about the incident. But D Mag obtained the affidavit and application for an arrest warrant filed by Mountain Village Police. The events outlined in the affidavit appear to match up with the beginning of Pond’s narrative, saying that a Colorado woman was driving down the sidewalk-less Mountain Village Boulevard when she passed Pond and his family, drove near them, swerved to avoid them, and yelled at them to get out of the road.

From there, the accounts diverge. When Pond met the driver again at a local hotel, where she was parked to pick up her husband, he allegedly approached her and she says he yelled at her, “Are you a fucking cunt? I’m going to pull you out of this fucking car!” And continued yelling profanities at her. She alleges in the affidavit that Pond then told her to, “Just go fucking die,” and spit in her face. Bystanders allegedly tried to intervene throughout the encounter, with a woman with a child stopping to address Pond and tell him to stop, according to the driver’s statement to police. A man intervened after Pond spit in the driver’s face, pulling him away.

The Mountain Village police state in the warrant request that they have video surveillance footage of the entire incident that confirms Pond’s actions as detailed by the driver, who remains unnamed. Pond was identified by the driver and by hotel staff.

Pond’s attorney originally asserted that his client was unaware of any requests from the Mountain Village Police to speak to him, but the police say they left voicemails for Pond, and that an arrest warrant was the result of his lack of reply.

Pond’s attorney told Eater Dallas in a text message on Wednesday, “We stand by our previous statement and vehemently deny the allegations made in the affidavit. Mr. Pond is looking forward to his day in court to clear his name, and to tell his side of the story.”

At the same time, Vandelay Hospitality faces the escalation of a trademark lawsuit from a Los Angeles restaurant, Hudson House Redondo Beach, for using a similar name to a nearby restaurant and alleges the entity violates California common law.

Vandelay Hospitality operates Hudson House, Drake’s, DL Mack’s, Brentwood, East Hampton Sandwich Co., and the forthcoming Anchor Bar, which is slated to open in Dallas in 2023.