A Chinese restaurant owner was apprehended after taking a 13-year-old boy “against his will” and pointing a BB gun at bystanders who tried to intervene at his establishment in Louisville, Kentucky last week.
The suspect, identified as Fabao Chen, 58, took the African American boy from a Kroger store at gunpoint, a witness claimed.
According to an arrest citation, Chen first pointed his BB gun at bystanders before turning it to the boy’s head, the Louisville Courier-Journal reported.
“The man grabbed him by the arm and pulled a gun out then. He told him, ‘No, you be still, you be still!’ I said, ‘Hey man, keep the gun on me, man, cool. Just keep it off the kid,’” witness Sean Jenkins said, according to ABC 13.
Surveillance footage from surrounding businesses shows Chen holding the boy by the arm and taking him to his nearby restaurant, Double Dragon.
A crowd reportedly formed as soon as the pair arrived at the restaurant, with multiple people attempting to convince the suspect to release the boy.
In a now-viral video, the 58-year-old can be seen restraining the boy on the wrist while holding the gun. According to an arrest report, he pointed the weapon at the crowd “in a threatening manner.”
“Definitely looked like a real gun,” Jenkins said, according to WAVE 3. “But, I wasn’t going to take the time to find out if it was or wasn’t just get it off the kid i don’t want to be shot either but, don’t shoot the kid.”
Chen appeared in Jefferson District Court on Wednesday for his arraignment, where he was charged with kidnapping a minor and three counts of first-degree wanton endangerment.
The restaurant owner, who pleaded not guilty to all charges, claimed that the boy had thrown a bottle at his establishment a day before.
The boy’s mother, Denise Mannion, told WDRB that strangers came banging on her door. By the time she arrived at the scene, police had released her son.
“Ladies, who I didn’t even know, came beating on my door, saying my child has been held hostage,” Mannion said. “They couldn’t even really get it out, they was just like, ‘Get in the car with us, get in the car.’ They said the Double Dragon owner was holding him at gunpoint.”
The distraught mother rejected Chen’s claims that her son threw the bottle at his restaurant. She claimed that he was at school when the incident happened.
“I did the research, had the school print out his attendance. He was at school Monday, and he was in The Boys and Girls Club Monday after school, so it was not him.”
Chen’s bond has been lowered to $20,000. He will return to court on June 17.
Featured Images via Sean Jenkins