GALLATIN, Tenn. (CN) – A gas station cashier locked two customers in the store and threatened them with a baseball bat after they tried to leave the store without buying anything, according to a lawsuit in Sumner County Court.
Fahmy Ateyya and Kaled Girges say they entered a convenience store in Hendersonville, Tenn., to buy some coffee and chips.
The cashier, John T. Morgan, “became enraged at Plaintiffs, yelling at them, making racial slurs and refusing to sell them the chips – stating he would only sell them coffee,” the lawsuit says.
The plaintiffs allegedly decided not to buy anything and tried to leave the items on the counter and exit the store.
“Defendant John T. Morgan came out from behind the counter and locked the door to the store, then returned behind the counter to pick up and brandish a baseball bat that he kept there, stating to Plaintiffs that he was going to beat them with the bat if they did not pay for the coffee,” the complaint states.
Ateyya says she told Girges to pay for the coffee, while she left the store to call 911.
When police arrived, they viewed the surveillance tape and arrested Morgan on charges of aggravated assault, the suit claims.
The plaintiffs say store owner L&M Realty should have known that Morgan had a lengthy criminal past, including felonies and weapons charges, and should not have allowed him to keep a bat behind the counter.
They demand actual damages and at least $75,000 each in punitive damages.
Stephen Grauberger with Grauberger, Pierce & Green PLLC is representing them.