Citing Gun Threat, Store Wants Customer Barred
HOUSTON (CN) - Best Buy sought a temporary restraining order against an irate customer who allegedly said he "wanted to shoot everybody at the store."
Best Buy and its general manager Danny Dana sued Garrett Bowling in Harris County Court.
"Defendant came to the Best Buy store #255 in Humble, Texas to pick up his iPhone from Rapid Exchange for a repair," the complaint states. "Defendant became upset that this took longer than he wanted. Defendant became angry with the employee assisting him.
"A manager of the store then began to speak with defendant in an effort to calm him down. This employee was met with hostility as well. At this point the general manager, Danny Dana, spoke with defendant.
"Once again, defendant became irate to the point he was told to exit the premises. Defendant eventually exited the Best Buy."
Best Buy claims that later that day an "extremely agitated" Bowling called its customer relations line, demanded compensation, and demanded that all the employees he dealt with be fired.
"On January 23, 2013, defendant called customer relations with Best Buy at 8:48 a.m. to again vent his frustrations to the call center operator Brittany Dehn," the complaint states. "Ms. Dehn verified defendant's phone number, first and last name, and email address. Defendant then explained to Ms. Dehn that in Texas there are concealed firearm carry laws that permit him to walk into stores with a weapon.
"He then stated, 'I will go in there and pop two bullets in his chest,' referring to Danny Dana. At this point Ms. Dehn informed defendant that he had just threatened a Best Buy employee and that the conversation was being recorded.
"Defendant responded, 'good ... good.'" (Ellipsis in complaint.)
Best Buy says Dehn put Bowling on hold to notify her supervisors, and he hung up.
The threats led Best Buy to beef up security at its store, but Bowling was just getting started, the company says.
He called the customers relations line again on Feb. 8, Best Buy says.
"The first operator who spoke with him was met with further threats regarding people getting shot in Texas," the complaint states. "This call operator transferred the call to Natasha Pearson, a senior executive resolution specialist.
"Defendant argued with Ms. Pearson that even if he were not allowed inside of the Best Buy, he would still be allowed in the parking lot and the surrounding sidewalks. Ms. Pearson told defendant that he would not be allowed in the store and reiterated that the store would be looking for him to ensure that he did not enter.
"Once again, defendant threatened the lives of numerous people when he said that he wanted to shoot everybody at the store. Defendant felt discriminated against for allegedly being called a 'little person.'"
Dana claims that he and his employees fear for their safety.
He and Best Buy seek a temporary restraining order to stop Bowling from entering the store, from coming within 200 feet of the store or Dana, and from entering any Best Buy in Harris or Montgomery Counties.
They are represented by Houston attorney Brian Swift.