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Athens man upset with his order allegedly brandished gun at pizza shop

Maury Lashawn McWhorter

By Joe Johnson

An Athens man was arrested this week for allegedly pointing a gun at a pizza shop employee because he was upset with his order and with the store’s social distancing policy, according to an Athens-Clarke County police report.

The alleged incident occurred the evening of July 16 at Little Caesars on Lexington Road, when a man wearing a light-colored beanie and a greenish-yellow reflector vest entered the business and placed a to-go order, the report stated.

After the man received his order and paid for it, he got upset because he claimed the order was wrong or not prepared to his liking, according to the report.

The employee told police he gave the man a refund and was having another pizza made for him, when he asked the man to wait outside “due to COVID-19 regulations,” according to the report.

That further upset the man, who reportedly began yelling that he did not want to wait outside and said he did not see a sign posted concerning the health regulation.

A scuffle then ensued in which the customer reached over the counter and grabbed a box that he threw “very forcibly” at the employee, according to the police report, which noted that a responding officer saw that the employee’s forearm was still red.

When the man left the store, he reportedly pulled out a handgun that he waved around before driving away in a Kia Soul.

The employee who had scuffled with the suspect told police that he saw the man wave the gun around but did not see him point the weapon at anyone, but another employee said she saw the suspect point the gun at her co-worker, according to the police report.

The employee who was struck by the box told the responding officer that video from a camera that monitored the store’s lobby would be provided after it was retrieved from the security system, according to the report.

After further investigation, police obtained warrants charging 42-year-old Maury Lashawn McWhorter of Fairview Street with aggravated assault, battery and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.

McWhorter was arrested Wednesday night and was being held at the county jail without bail being set.

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