JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Chairs weren't the only thing being hurled at David Scott at the Tijuana Flats near Jacksonville International Airport Monday night.
"It was definitely a blessing to get out of the situation the way that I did," Scott told First Coast News.
Scott, the restaurant's general manager, says a man became belligerent after someone walked in on him in the bathroom. Scott says he tried to calm the man down, but he grew more agitated, threatening him with a gun.
"Said something along the lines of, 'I have a gun. Do you have a gun?' At which point I asked him to leave," Scott recalled. "Right around me asking him to leave is when he shoved me and around the same time that woman began taking that video."
Cell phone video of the incident was posted to the Oceanway Neighborhood Watch Facebook page and on YouTube.
As the man finally left the restaurant, Scott went to lock the door but says he saw the man retrieve what appeared to be a gun from the trunk of his car.
Thinking the man may come back inside, Scott ordered everyone to the back of the restaurant.
"I couldn't be 100 percent sure (it was a gun), but it was convincing enough that I shouted and encouraged everyone to get to safety," he said.
Thankfully, the man didn't come back inside. Police were called, but he had already left.
Scott, like many hospitality managers, says it's been difficult finding dedicated employees and situations like what happened to him may make it even harder.
"I don't think it's going to make it any easier in terms of getting more people hired on staff and retaining the staff I have," he said.
No one was seriously hurt. Scott didn't get the make and model of the car, but he says the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office is looking through the restaurant's surveillance video to piece together any clues in identifying the man.