Duluth brothers to open soul food kitchen, following in their dad’s footsteps

DULUTH – The Witherspoon brothers sang and laughed as they battered chicken and threw it in the deep fryer.

Tom Hanson watched with a smile of approval as the siblings navigated his kitchen at OMC Smokehouse, a popular restaurant in Duluth’s burgeoning Lincoln Park craft district.

“His eyes kind of lit up a bit the first time he tried it,” said Stephan Witherspoon, serving the crispy golden pieces alongside a bowl of his homemade cornbread dressing.

“When the man endorses you,” Solomon Witherspoon said, gesturing toward Hanson, “that’s how you know it’s real.”

The brothers are planning to open a soul food joint in Lincoln Park next year.

The venture would add them to the small roster of Black restaurant owners in the northeastern Minnesota city of 86,000.

The restaurant — dubbed Doc Witherspoon’s Soul Food Kitchen in their father’s honor — will serve Southern-style favorites like fried chicken, mac and cheese, cornbread and sweet potato pie.

Hanson, who owns two other Duluth restaurants, is helping advise the brothers as they search for a brick-and-mortar home, form marketing plans and seek business loans. He’s also contributing funds to their startup.

“Why am I helping to set up a competitor across the street? I believe that it will bring more people to Lincoln Park,” Hanson said.

“People get the benefit of trying new foods, and we’re culturally moving our neighborhood forward.”

Sylvester Witherspoon, also known as Doc, operated a restaurant in West Duluth in the 1970s and 1980s. He served as a pastor for years before he died in 1999.

Stephan Witherspoon, who serves as president of the local NAACP, remembers hanging around his father’s kitchen as a young boy, “looking, learning and especially tasting.”

“Now we’re living in these times of division, and we want to bring people together through food and love,” he said.

The Witherspoons will be having a pop-up event Sunday from 5 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at Peace United Church. Customers can preorder family-style meals ahead of time online.

Solomon Witherspoon said he hopes to someday be able to pay forward the business advice to other Black entrepreneurs.

“We absolutely want to be trendsetters,” he said.

In the meantime, the brothers are working to carry on their father’s legacy.

They make the work fun, dancing and teasing each other as they whip up the time-tested recipes they’ve carefully honed with years of minor tweaks.

“Personally, I’ve always thought my father did a lot for Duluth but didn’t get a lot of love back,” said Stephan Witherspoon, noting that his parents spent years as community activists.

His father was constantly inviting friends and strangers to join family meals or backyard barbecues.

“We’re feeling the love now,” he added.

 

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Sex offender beat up by dads at Cracker Barrel after bathroom incident involving teen

A convicted sex offender was beaten and detained by a group fathers in the parking lot of a Cracker Barrel in South Carolina after an alleged incident Sunday in the restaurant’s bathroom, WSPA 7 News reported.

The Duncan Police Department confirmed the man involved in Sunday’s incident is 53-year-old Douglas Lane of Charlotte, North Carolina. He is charged with multiple charges, including voyeurism.

According to the report, a 15-year-old said she noticed something moving at her feet and realized it was a man’s head coming from the stall beside her.

After exiting the restroom she went to tell her father who then got a female employee to get the man out of the restroom.

Upon his exit, the father confronted Lane at the entrance to the bathroom area of the restaurant.

According to a witness, the man tried to get away, sprinting out the front door. The local police chief told WSPA 7 News that other fathers who knew what had happened tackled Lane in the parking lot and restrained him until the police arrived, WSPA 7 News reports.

In addition to voyeurism, Lane is reportedly charged with possession of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia.

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Dads tackle sex offender accused of spying on girl in bathroom at Cracker Barrel



a man wearing a hat: Douglas Lane, 53, is shown in this mugshot photo from Sept. 20, 2020.


© Spartanburg County Detention Center
Douglas Lane, 53, is shown in this mugshot photo from Sept. 20, 2020.

Several fathers subdued a registered sex offender outside a Cracker Barrel restaurant in North Carolina on Sunday after the man allegedly peeked under a teenage girl’s bathroom stall.

The incident happened at a Cracker Barrel in Charlotte, N.C., on Sunday morning, according to Duncan police Chief Carl Long.

A 15-year-old girl allegedly saw the suspect peek his head under her bathroom stall and reported it to her parents, police said. Staff found the man in the bathroom and kicked him out, they said.

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The girl and her parents were at the restaurant with several other families ahead of a girls’ softball tournament, according to reports.

The victim’s father and a few other dads chased the man out of the restaurant and prevented him from leaving until police arrived.

“Get him, he’s getting away!” they shouted, according to a witness who spoke to local station WYFF 4.

“The guy came running, sprinting out the front door with a very bloody nose,” another witness told local station WSPA.

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Video obtained by WSPA shows the suspect bloodied and sitting on the ground while surrounded by parents.

A profanity-filled video posted on TikTok shows one man scolding the suspect, who can be seen sitting on the grass surrounded by angry adults. There is blood on his face and shirt.

“I didn’t do nothing!” the suspect can be heard saying.

“Imma tell you, if that was my daughter, you wouldn’t walk away,” the man tells him.

Douglas Lane, 53, was arrested on voyeurism and drug charges, according to Spartanburg jail records.

A mugshot shows Lane with a large bandage around his head and blood on his face after the encounter.

Lane is a registered sex offender with four past voyeurism convictions dating as far back as 1996, records show.

A judge set a cash surety bond at $2,000 and ordered Lane to wear a GPS monitor. Lane was also ordered to move to South Carolina and avoid all contact with the victim and her family.

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Lane’s lawyer claimed during the hearing that the suspect didn’t know he was in the women’s bathroom.

His next court appearance is scheduled for Nov. 12.

With files from The Associated Press

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Dads Rough Up Registered Sex Offender Over Alleged Act of Voyeurism in Women’s Bathroom at Cracker Barrel

A 53-year-old registered sex offender who has been charged for voyeuristic acts at least eight times in the past was roughed up after being confronted by the father of a 15-year-old girl. Douglas Lane is accused of hiding out in a bathroom stall at a Cracker Barrel restaurant in Duncan, South Carolina in order to ogle unsuspecting girls.



a person that is standing in the grass


© Provided by Law & Crime


Duncan Police Chief Carl Long said that the 15-year-old girl sensed something move at her feet and then spotted Lane looking at her from underneath the bathroom stall walls on Sunday.

According to WSPA, the girl immediately told her dad what happened and the two of them asked a woman who worked at Cracker Barrel to get Lane out of the bathroom. Other girls were reportedly in the bathroom at the time as well.

Police say that the girl’s father then confronted Lane, who is from Charlotte, North Carolina. An unnamed witness said Lane “came running, sprinting out the front door with a very bloody nose.” Lane’s troubles did not stop there, video recorded in the aftermath of the confrontation(s) show:

WYFF reported the several parents who were in the area for a girls softball tournament restrained Lane until police got the scene. A witness said he saw a “lot of good guys” take down Lane as he tried to run away.

Lane’s mugshot also tells the story:



a man wearing a hat


© Provided by Law & Crime


Spartanburg County Detention Center

Lane was charged for possession of marijuana, drug paraphernalia, and voyeurism. During a bond hearing on Monday, Lane claimed that he’d made an innocent mistake—namely, that he didn’t immediately realize that he was in the women’s bathroom.

The judge ordered Lane, a North Carolina resident, to stay in South Carolina under home detention and be subject to GPS monitoring. Lane is scheduled to appear in court on Nov. 12. It’s not immediately clear if he has an attorney of record.

[Image via WSPA screengrab]

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Group of dads tackle, restrain sex offender accused of peeping at teen in Cracker Barrel bathroom

Douglas Lane, 53, of Charlotte, NC, is charged with voyeurism, simple possession of marijuana, and possession of drug paraphernalia (Spartanburg County Sheriff’s Office).

A group of fathers helped police arrest a man accused of looking under stalls in a South Carolina Cracker Barrel ladies room, reports say.

Duncan Police Chief Carl Long told WSPA that a 15-year-old girl in town for a softball tournament was in the bathroom at the Cracker Barrel on the 1500 block of East Main Street when she noticed something was moving near her feet. When she looked down, Long said she saw that a man’s head from the stall next to her.

Witnesses told WSPA that during the incident the 15-year-old victim was not the only girl in the bathroom at the time.

“I’ll never forget the way they looked after,” the witness said. “They were traumatized.”

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The girl told her father, who confronted the man, identified as 53-year-old Douglas Lane, of Charlotte, NC, after an employee got him out of the bathroom. When Lane tried to leave the restaurant, the police chief said a group of fathers tackled him and kept him restrained until officers got to the scene.

A witness inside the restaurant told WYFF that he saw a man with a bloody nose run outside before being tackled in the parking lot.  

Lane has been charged with voyeurism, simple possession of marijuana, and possession of drug paraphernalia.

According to government records, Lane has been a registered sex offender in North Carolina since 2004, when he was convicted of secretly peeking into an occupied room in Mecklenburg County. In that case, the record shows his victims were 8 and 9 years old.

Four years later in the same county, Lane was convicted of secretly peeking into an occupied room with his victim being 18 or older.

South Carolina’s sex offender registry finds that Lane was convicted of peeping, voyeurism or aggravated voyeurism in 1997 and failure to register in 1999.

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Sex offender tackled by group of dads after being caught looking under ladies’ bathroom stall at teen girl

A SEX offender was tackled and detained by a group of fathers after he was caught allegedly peaking under the stalls in a ladies’ bathroom.

The perv was reportedly peaking at a 15-year-old girl in the ladies room at a Cracker Barrel restaurant in South Carolina on Sunday morning.

Douglas Lane is facing several charges for allegedly peaking at a teen using the bathroom at a South Carolina Cracker Barrel

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Douglas Lane is facing several charges for allegedly peaking at a teen using the bathroom at a South Carolina Cracker BarrelCredit: Spartanburg Co. Detention Center
Lane was tackled by a group of dads after trying to flee the restaurant

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Lane was tackled by a group of dads after trying to flee the restaurantCredit: Twitter

The offender, identified as 53-year-old Douglas Lane, was arrested after the dads took him down and is facing several charges, according to local station WSPA.

The teen reportedly noticed something moving by her feet while she was in the restroom, and then realized that it was a man in the stall next to her.

When she left the restroom, she told her father who then got a female employee to get Lane out of the restroom so he could confront him, according to Duncan Police Chief Carl Long.

The man reportedly tried to flee the Cracker Barrel after he was confronted by the girl’s dad, but other fathers who happened to be in the restaurant jumped in to help detain the offender.

The group of dads reportedly detained the man until police arrived

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The group of dads reportedly detained the man until police arrivedCredit: Facebook

Witnesses say the group of dads tackled Lane in the parking lot and restrained him until police arrived.

Photos of the incident show Lane sitting on the ground with a bloodied shirt and face as he awaited police.

Lane reportedly told police after he was detained that he was in the women’s room because he had to use the bathroom really badly and didn’t realize he had entered the wrong one.

According to reports, he is a registered sex offender in North Carolina and has been charged at least eight times prior to the Cracker Barrel incident.

Sunday’s peeping resulted in charges of voyeurism and possession of marijuana and drug paraphernalia.

Lane had a bond hearing on Monday where he received a $2,000 surety bond and was given a GPS monitor, according to WSPA.

Authorities said the investigation is ongoing and more charges are possible.

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