By DEE-ANN DURBIN AP Business Writer
A top executive at plant-based food company Beyond Meat has been charged with felony battery after a fight outside a college football game in which he was accused of biting a man’s nose.
Doug Ramsey was also charged with making a terroristic threat after the attack Saturday in a parking garage outside a University of Arkansas football game in Fayetteville.
Beyond Meat said Tuesday it has suspended Ramsey indefinitely.
According to a police report, Ramsey was angered when another driver inched in front of him in a traffic lane and made contact with the front passenger wheel on Ramsey’s Ford Bronco SUV.
The police report alleges that Ramsey got out of his vehicle and punched through the back windshield of the other driver’s car. The driver told police he got out of his car and Ramsey pulled him close and began punching him. Ramsey also bit the tip of the other driver’s nose, ripping the flesh, according to the police report.
The driver and witnesses told police that Ramsey threatened to kill the other man. Occupants of both vehicles got out and separated the two men.
Washington County court records show Ramsey was released Sunday on a $11,085 bond. A court appearance is scheduled for Oct. 19. Court officials were unable to provide the name of an attorney for Ramsey on Tuesday.
Ramsey, 53, spent more than 30 years at Springdale, Arkansas-based Tyson Foods before joining Beyond Meat as chief operating officer late last year. He held top leadership positions at Tyson, including president of its poultry division and president of its global McDonald’s business.
At Beyond Meat, he has guided partnerships with fast food companies including McDonald’s, Panda Express and KFC.
Beyond Meat said Jonathan Nelson, its senior vice president for manufacturing operations, will oversee the company’s operations on an interim basis.
Beyond Meat shares hit a 52-week low of $15.97 Tuesday before closing at $16.03. The company’s shares have tumbled more than 75% since the start of this year.
The El Segundo, California-based company has struggled as customers dealing with soaring grocery bills have bypassed its higher-priced products. McDonald’s also recently ended a U.S. trial of its McPlant meatless burger — developed with Beyond Meat — without confirming future plans for the product.
Beyond Meat laid off 4% of its workforce in August.
AP Writer Andrew DeMillo in Little Rock, Arkansas, contributed.