Atlanta

Veteran says security guard pulled gun on her over emotional support animal at Midtown Diner

ATLANTA — An Army veteran is distraught after she says a Midtown restaurant’s security guard threatened to “blow her head off.”

Aria Adams told Channel 2′s Ashli Lincoln she visited the Midtown Diner recently with her emotional support animal and said the experience left her traumatized.

“He said, ‘I’ll blow your head off,’” Adams said.

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She said those words came from an irate security guard who was working at the Midtown Metro Diner on Peachtree Street.

Adams says the incident took place on May 7 when she walked in just after midnight for a night out to celebrate her birthday.

“I wanted to be out and free and enjoying myself,” she said.

According to Adams, things took a turn when hired security confronted her about bringing in her emotional support cat.

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Adams, a transgender Army veteran living with PTSD, says she takes the cat everywhere.

“I’m a target every day,” Adams said.

A report from Atlanta police says the on-duty security guard began verbally harassing Adams, misgendering her and using homophobic slurs.

“He pulled out his gun and said, ‘show me your hands,’” she said. “I thought he was going to kill me or rob me, or something. He had already cocked the gun.”

When police arrived, officers found the security guard did not have any required credentials to be working as an armed security guard.

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The report goes on to state the guard couldn’t provide the name of the private company he was working for, nor was he registered with the Secretary of State’s office.

“His gun was unregistered,” according to the police report.

A quick search on the internet shows an increase in the need for private security companies across the country amidst rises in violent crime and mass shootings.

In the state of Georgia, security guards are under the jurisdiction of the state’s board of private detectives and security agencies.

Armed security guards must register with the state and undergo thorough background checks.

Unarmed guards do not have to register, but they must meet training requirements set by the state.

Channel 2 spoke with a security analyst who says a business could be held liable for hiring a guard who isn’t properly registered.

“I didn’t feel like it was necessary for him to try me like that,” Adams said. “I just want people to know that I am a human that does exist.”

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