Dante's restaurateur accused of criminal belligerence toward Tahoe-bound travelers
Highway 50 restaurateur Kevin Cairns was depicted in El Dorado Superior Court on Wednesday as a short-fused threat to travelers who were unlucky enough to wind up in the parking lot of his Dante's on the River, east of Pollock Pines.
"Ladies and gentlemen, it's the picture of a madman," said Dale Gomes, deputy district attorney, in making his opening statement in Cairns' trial in Placerville.
Cairns faces charges of vandalism, disturbing the peace and assault with a deadly weapon in connection with three incidents in 2010 and 2011.
In each case, Cairns was accused of being aggressively threatening, and worse, to travelers who pulled off the road because someone in their party was sick.