Cafe Hon owner Denise Whiting gets a restraining order against protester

The brouhaha surrounding the trademarking of the word "hon" seemed to become more serious Monday as Denise Whiting was granted a restraining order against a man who organized recent protests against her.

Judge Joan Bossman Gordan issued the so-called peace order on Monday on Whiting's behalf, barring Steven Akers, a 25-year-old student from Severn, from any of Whiting's Hampden businesses and from contacting her or harassing her.

Gordan extended an initial order issued June 20 by Judge Catherine Curran O'Malley.

"Our customers and staff at Cafe Hon, Hon Bar and Hontown are in fear of Steven Akers and his harassing, terrorizing, unpredictable, obsessive, stalkerlike behavior," Whiting wrote as she applied for the order on June 20. "He has been intimidating us since December 2010."

Whiting's detailed, hand-written request accuses Akers of, among other things, harassment, cyberbullying and inciting violence through social media. She declined to elaborate on Monday.

"It is a matter for the court and at this juncture, it would be inappropriate for me to elaborate," she said.

Akers was a key organizer of protests that started last year after it was revealed that Whiting, the founder of Honfest and owner of Cafe Hon, had trademarked the word "hon." On Facebook pages called "No One Owns Hon, Hon" and "Boycott Cafe Hon," Akers rallied people to a series of protests in December, January and most recently during Honfest earlier this month.

Reached out of town on a family vacation Monday, Akers shrugged off the restraining order, saying he didn't know what it was about because he was "just passing out fliers."

"It's just over the protest that happened at Honfest," he said. "I would love to talk more, but I've been advised not to go any details."

Whiting's complaint details how on June 12, during HonFest, Akers opened the door of Cafe Hon and screamed into the restaurant, "No one owns Hon."

That act "terrorized" customers and left children crying, Whiting wrote.

Then, at a protest on Jan. 2, Whiting says Akers trespassed into one of her businesses to hand out "hate" fliers and ended up throwing a stack of them at one of her staff members.

Whiting also mentioned statements Akers had made on Facebook while trying to drum up support for the protests of Honfest. Words she considered threatening included, "We need to hijack Honfest," and "Dear Denise Whiting, be on notice: You and your power hungry behind will be put in check."

A hearing to finalize the peace order is set for July 5.

Sun reporter Chris Kaltenbach contributed to this article.