Police have released a video of the moment a man pulled a paintball gun out on staff at a kebab shop after getting into a row about wearing a facemask inside.
Paul Griffiths, 57, was jailed last month after pleading guilty to a number of charges, including possessing an imitation firearm during the incident in the village of Pentre in Rhondda, South Wales.
On Tuesday, South Wales Police published CCTV footage of the incident, which happened at about 10.15pm on November 5, 2020, showing a mask-less Griffiths being asked to wait outside by takeaway staff after he tried to buy food.
But he refused to leave and is seen taking out the gun from his pocket and pointing it at people inside Rhondda Takeaway.
A police spokesman said: “A customer and a delivery driver dived behind the counter, fearing they were going to be shot.
“The delivery driver then ran to the living quarters and told people to lock the door, before running out of the back of the shop and calling 999.”
Police bodycam footage then shows armed officers arriving and ordering Griffiths to walk backwards slowly out of the shop with his hands in the air.
While being handcuffed, police are heard telling Griffiths they were responding to reports he had a weapon on him, to which he replies: “No, I’ve got a paintball gun on me.”
The firearm was a prohibited CO2-powered paintball-type gun, but while in custody officers obtained a warrant to search Griffiths’ home nearby and discovered he was hiding a cannabis factory.
Griffiths pleaded guilty to possessing an imitation firearm in a public place with intent to cause fear of violence, possessing a prohibited weapon, and cannabis production, and was jailed for 20 months at Merthyr Tydfil Magistrates’ Court on May 20 this year.
Detective Constable Lucy Robins, said: “Griffiths’ actions that night were plain stupid and reckless. The people inside the shop that night genuinely feared for their lives.
“I would like to praise the actions of the owner who acted calmly and put the safety of others first by trying to keep the man inside the shop.
“The delivery driver raised the alarm quickly which ensured our armed officers were on the scene in minutes while he was still at the scene.”