COBB COUNTY, Ga. - Marietta police said officers rushed to an IHOP restaurant after a cook called 911 stating that a customer threatened to kill everyone inside over bacon.
Cell phone video shows the chaos inside the restaurant on Cobb Parkway South just before 1 a.m. on Sunday.
Renardo Lewis, 39, is charged with aggravated assault of an officer, public intoxication, and obstruction for allegedly resisting arrest, choking an officer, and reaching for officers’ weapons.
Lewis is the owner of R.C.’s Southern Cooking in Marietta.
“Y’all know that’s not right, but he’s being held without a bond,” said Darrio Giles, a cousin of Lewis.
“Six to seven of y’all already have him pinned against the wall, then y’all pin him on the ground. Where’s he resisting?”
Giles gave Channel 2's Chris Jose the cellphone video family members shot at the IHOP. They also posted on it on Facebook where it has more than 20,000 views.
The video shows the takedown and some of the moments that led up to it.
“They were upset over service. It had something to do with bacon,” said Ofc. Chuck McPhilamy,
Marietta police spokesman. “We’re there to try and solve a business dispute but also we believe this individual could be armed and had already made threats.”
McPhilamy told Jose officers tried to get Lewis and his wife to calm down.
“It wasn’t until the officer got to a point of, ‘I’m concerned for everyone’s safety. We still don’t know if this individual has a gun. We need to place him in cuffs.’ Some would say, ‘Well, why didn’t we do things different?’ How would you have me do that different if we don’t know if he has a gun,” said McPhilamy.
Police confirmed an internal investigation is underway. The officers remain on the job.
“For more than 90 seconds, they struggled with him not using anything other than wrestling techniques,” said McPhilamy. “At one point, he takes his hand and is strangling one of the female officers by the neck.”
Civil rights activist Gerald Rose, the president of the New Order Human Rights Organization, met with police officials on Monday to demand transparency.
“From what I’ve seen, (force) it was not necessary,” said Rose. “I can’t see someone just throw their life away over something like that, because of a situation that happened over some bacon.”
Rose also asked police to release body camera video of the incident.
“You have some good officers. You have some bad officers. Maybe the bad officers, came to IHOP that night," said Rose.
IHOP’s corporate office sent Jose a statement:
“Our top priority is the safety of our guests and team members. After an individual at the Marietta IHOP recently became belligerent and made threatening comments to everyone in the restaurant, the franchisee’s team quickly followed protocol and alerted authorities. We’re grateful to the police for their quick response and for keeping the guests and team members in the restaurant safe."
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