The then-manager of a Searcy restaurant has been accused of pointing a gun at an employee’s head in June when the employee arrived at work and laughed because “everything was a mess” in the kitchen.
Deondra Marquez Austin, 30, of Searcy has been charged with class D felony aggravated assault, according to a warrant issued late last month at the request of the 17th Judicial District Prosecuting Attorney’s Office.
The alleged victim reportedly told Searcy police that he was a cook for Captain D’s on Race Avenue and noticed that “nothing had been done” in the kitchen when he arrived to work that afternoon. When he laughed about it, Austin reportedly “asked him what he had said.” He said that he told Austin “that it didn’t look like they had done anything” before Austin “went into the office,” Detective Michael Mosher wrote in the affidavit.
Austin reportedly returned and then “aimed a pistol” at the alleged victim’s head. The alleged victim was able to get the gun away from Austin, who “yelled at him that there was ‘one in the chamber’ and then grabbed the gun and left the restaurant,” Mosher wrote.
He wrote the video footage watched June 29 showed Austin “approaching” the alleged victim and aiming the gun at him. It also reportedly showed them struggling “for the weapon” before Austin grabbed it and left.
When interviewed over the phone July 7, Austin reportedly told Mosher “that he never had a gun and that he was holding a phone the entire time.”
Austin was not in custody in White County on Friday, and no court date had been set.
A court date has been set, though, for a Searcy 20-year-old who has been charged with class B felony terroristic act and class D felony aggravated assault. Kewan Jashone Cole is scheduled to appear in White County Circuit Court on Tuesday. A warrant was issued late last month for Cole, who has been in the county jail since June 28.
The incident reportedly happened that day at Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen on East Beebe-Capps Expressway, where it was reported that shots had been fired. According to the affidavit, the restaurant’s manager said that Cole, an employee there, had fired the shots from a handgun at a woman “as she fled from the parking lot in her vehicle.”
Video footage showed Cole passing the alleged victim’s vehicle on Sante Fe Drive before the alleged victim pulled into Popeyes’ parking lot. Cole had turned east on Beebe-Capps and then into the northeast driveway of the parking lot. Mote wrote that Cole then blocked in the alleged victim’s vehicle before he got out of his vehicle and started chasing the vehicle “after she swerved around him and fled north through the parking lot.”
After she turned eastbound onto Beebe-Capps, three shots could be heard, Mote wrote, “before Cole runs back to his vehicle and flees the area.”
When he was interviewed at the Searcy Police Department, Cole reportedly admitted to shooting at the alleged victim. He was initially charged with first-degree attempted murder, but Popeyes “could not produce video surveillance from their surveillance system showing Cole firing directly at the female victim. However, there were other vehicles driving on Beebe-Capps and passing Popeyes at the time of the incident.”