Local teenagers involved in Cook Out fight explain their actions

By: local8now.com staff
By: local8now.com staff

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) Two of the teenage boys involved in last week's viral video fight at Cook Out on the U.T. strip say they don't regret stepping into the fight.

18 year-old Antonio Burkhart and his brother say they weren't at the restaurant last Friday morning around 1:30 looking for a fight. In fact, the two say they were only there to eat.

Burkhart says he was walking past a table where several other teenagers were sitting, when a girl yelled at him to pull his pants up. He says he made a comment to her to mind her own business, but that's when her boyfriend stood up to confront him.

Burkhart says he tried to back out of the altercation, but it continued to escalate. He says it came to blows when the other male knocked his drink out of his hand and refused to pay for a new one, and then used racial slurs against him.

Burkhart's brother says he has no regrets for his actions.

"I'm not sorry for anything I did. I was just backing my brothers up," he said.

The brother's oldest brother, a man they named only as Tank, is the one seen in the video repeatedly hitting 19 year-old U.T. student John Buntin.

Burkhart and his brother say Tank is a boxer and wrestler, and they knew they wouldn't be able to stop him once he started swinging.

"We should have stepped in at that point and tried to do something about it, but it's kind of hard to hold him back," the 17-year-old said.

The brothers say they are cooperating with detectives on this case, even saying they went to the police the day after the incident because they knew what they did was wrong.

"But there's nothing we can do to change it. All we can do is keep going, so hopefully everything works out for the best," Burkhart said.


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