'Straight Outta Compton' Star Charged w/ Assault at Restaurant

8/23/2017 12:30 AM PDT

'Straight Outta Compton' Star R. Marcos Taylor Charged with Assault

EXCLUSIVE

R. Marcos Taylor may have taken his Suge Knight role a little too seriously -- he's been charged with multiple counts of assault for punching 2 people ... but he says THEY came at him.

The incident went down back on August 9 when sources tell us he punched the manager of a Carrabba's Italian Grill in Green Brook, NJ several times in the face after an argument escalated.

We're told several employees dragged Marcos out of the restaurant and a melee ensued ... with Marcos allegedly punching a woman on the side of the head.

Marcos was charged with 4 counts of assault, 1 count of criminal mischief and 1 count of disorderly conduct.

We reached out to Marcos, who would only tell us he got jumped that night in the parking lot but would not elaborate. His attorney tells us Marcos never punched or kicked anyone and was defending himself when he tossed one of the employees.