We’ve talked about Dave Chappelle’s classic When Keeping It Real Goes Wrong, the routine where some poor schlub decides to stand up for themselves and ends up making things much, much worse. Attorneys fall into this trap less often than the average American, but when they do, the results are always over-the-top.
And today’s story is no exception. On New Year’s Day, a personal injury attorney allegedly took things too far after another man made a mildly flirty joke. The attorney then faced a choice: he could exhibit a vague sense of humor, or he could keep it real. With a steak knife.
You know where this is going…
The case involves Minneapolis-area Super Lawyer Michael Riehm, who appears to have a cutting legal mind. He was out with his wife when another man made a joke that allegedly didn’t sit well with Riehm. The joke that allegedly set this whole affair off is so innocuous it’s embarrassing:
Authorities say it began when Heather Griego, identified in the criminal complaint as Riehm’s wife, complimented the appearance of the victim’s girlfriend at a hotel bar (the criminal complaint doesn’t specify whether the mayhem went down in the Living Room or Prohibition). In response, the victim told Griego “his girlfriend was already taken.”
That’s not even at the expense of Riehm’s wife. It’s just harmless — unless you put a homophobic spin on it, I guess. Anyway, here’s what authorities say happened next:
“This comment upset Griego and her husband,” the complaint says. “The victim reported a shoving match ensued between himself and [Riehm] but the altercation was broken up by bar security.”
That was far from the end of the confrontation, however.
“The victim reported that some time later Griego approached him and attempted to kick him in the groin,” the complaint continues. “The victim and Griego got into a physical altercation and defendant attempted to intervene on behalf of his wife.”
If this is true, maybe his wife should be the prominent personal injury lawyer, because she sounds tenacious. While things were already out of hand, then they get worse:
Though that melee was also broken up by security, as the victim prepared exited the bar and entered the hotel lobby, Riehm allegedly approached him and “thrust at his rib cage.”
“The victim reported he immediately realized he had been stabbed” by Riehm, the complaint says. He was transported to HCMC and treated for a deflated lung.
A waitress at the bar later told authorities she saw Riehm go behind a serving counter and grab a steak knife. When she confronted him, he said, “Nobody hits my wife in the face” and walked off. The waitress said Riehm then entered the lobby and stabbed the victim before dropping the knife and leaving with Griego. Later, Griego returned to the scene and tried “to forcefully take the knife from the officers who were processing the criminal scene,” the waitress said.
Now that takes some chutzpah! Trying to snag the weapon away from the cops investigating the scene? Has that ever worked? I know Marge Gunderson doesn’t carry herself as an intimidating peace officer, but trust that she wasn’t going to just let some drunk woman steal key evidence.
Riehm has made the news before. He was sued for over $150,000 by a rival firm for allegedly underhanded client poaching practices (specifically, paying kickbacks to two associates at the rival firm in exchange for referrals).
Seems like he might have upped the ante on his legal problems this time.
Flirtatious joke allegedly culminated in personal injury attorney stabbing man at W Hotel [Minneapolis City Pages h/t Reddit Law Firm Marketing Sub]