Man accused of calling police to threaten Waffle House employee

Monday, May 5, 2008 | 8:43 p.m. CDT; updated 11:21 p.m. CDT, Monday, July 21, 2008

COLUMBIA — Court documents say a man accused of threatening to shoot an employee at the Waffle House at Range Line Street and Vandiver Drive called to warn police that they would need to bring an ambulance and a hearse after he showed up at the restaurant.

Adrian C. Gonzales, 28, of 3208 Northland Drive, was arrested at his home on Friday and charged with making a terroristic threat after Columbia police issued a warrant for his arrest on the same day.

According to a probable cause statement, a man contacted the Columbia Police Department’s Joint Communications Information Center at about 4:44 a.m. Friday, threatening to shoot a Waffle House employee. The man said the employee had threatened to shoot him over a woman.

The dispatcher pleaded with the caller to allow police to assist him, but the man responded that he did not call the police for help but to warn that they would need an ambulance and a hearse when he showed up at the Waffle House.

During the phone call, which lasted about 13 minutes, Gonzales is accused of saying at least four times that he had a pistol and 17 rounds of ammunition he was going to use to shoot the employee. Police informed the restaurant of the caller’s threats after the caller claimed to be in the Waffle House parking lot.

Police patrolled the Waffle House and locked all of the doors, according to Waffle House employee Rodney Coe, 41. Coe was not working at the time of the incident but found out about it when he came to work later that morning. Both customers and employees were forced to remain inside the Waffle House for two hours, Coe said.

In the meantime, police made efforts to identify the caller, according to the probable cause statement. They tried to reach the caller, who had identified himself as Gary Gonzalez, by calling his number back. Eventually, after several calls back, police reached a voice mail recording that identified the man by another name — Chachi.

Police had contacted an ex-girlfriend of Gary Gonzalez by this point, and she identified the voice recording as that of Gonzalez’s brother, Adrian Gonzales, according to the probable cause statement.

Columbia Police Sgt. Ken Hammond said Gonzales was actually never near the Waffle House.

“The last thing we want to do is not take a threat like this seriously and have someone get hurt,” Hammond said.

Gonzales’s fiancee, Billie Kane, 30, says Gonzales never called the police to make threats. Kane went to court in an attempt to reduce Gonzales’ $250,000 cash-only bond Monday, but her request was denied.

“I know Adrian never made these threats,” she said,

Hammond said the incident is still under investigation and that Gonzales has been interviewed by police.

As of Monday, Gonzales was being held in Boone County Jail on the $250,000 cash bond for the terrorist threat charge; a $4,500 bond for three 2007 counts of forgery, a class C felony; and a $20,000 bond for failing to appear in court for a 2005 charge of unlawful use of a weapon.

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