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A little after two o'clock today, while novelist and book critic Dale Peck was lunching with the writer Linda Yablonsky at Tartine in the West Village, jazz critic/cultural commentator/novelist Stanley Crouch decided to introduce himself. (Peck had reviewed a novel of Crouch's a few years back; in response to that review, Crouch told Salon that Peck was "a troubled queen.")

At Tartine, Crouch shook Peck's hand, then, as a follow-up, smacked him in the face, saying "if you ever did anything like that [presumably referring to the review] again, it'll be much worse."

Crouch once also threw a punch at Howard Mandel, the president of the Jazz Journalists Association. If two equals trend (or maybe three? Didn't Crouch hit Harry Allen at the Village Voice, back in the day? (And wait, make that four — didn't he slug the late letters editor Ron Plotkin at the Voice as well?) ) then it's pretty clear Crouch has, at best, some serious impulse control problems. Funny stuff, coming from a guy who's always railed about the "politics of resentment" — guess he's been carrying around a grudge for years.

It remains to be seen whether assault charges will be filed. [Full disclosure: As previously mentioned in this space, yes, I share a shitty East Village rabbit warren with Dale Peck.]