A Kentucky man is in custody after police say he kidnapped a child from a West Louisville Kroger and pointed a gun at bystanders who attempted to intervene.
Authorities charged Fabao Chen with kidnapping a minor, as well as three counts of first–degree wanton endangerment in connection to the incident, online court records show.
An arrest report cited by the Louisville Courier Journal states that Chen, 58, took the boy “against his will” from a Kroger store on Tuesday. Surveillance video from surrounding businesses shows the suspect grabbing the child by the arm and taking him to his Chinese restaurant, the Double Dragon.
When witnesses tried to step in, police said Chen pulled out what appeared to be a gun and pointed it at them.
Amanda Thompson McAlister, a manager at a nearby laundromat, told WHAS 11 this isn’t the first time the restaurant owner has brandished a handgun.
“He’s gotten into other altercations with other customers and he always pulls that gun,” she said. “He always does.”
At one point, authorities said Chen pointed the weapon at the victim’s head. The handgun was later determined to be a BB gun, according to police.
“There should’ve been another way to resolve this,” McAlister added. “That wasn’t the right way to do it.”
Chen appeared in court Wednesday, when he pleaded not guilty to the charges against him. According to WHAS 11, the man claims a child threw a bottle in his restaurant and refused to stop. That’s when authorities said Chen pulled out a gun and dragged the child from the Kroger, back to his eatery.
“It was really wrong what he did,” said witness Patricia Duncan. “Because somebody could’ve gotten hurt.”
It wasn’t long before a crowd gathered at Chen’s restaurant in an attempt to get him to turn the child over, at which point the restaurateur pointed his gun at bystanders “in a threatening manner,” according to the arrest report.
Duncan said she didn’t see Chen point the gun, but said he was “hollering, telling everybody to get out of his store.”
“It should’ve been handled different,” Duncan told the station.
McAlister added that the restaurant owner shouldn’t be allowed in the community because “he’s not a friendly person like that.”
Chen has since been barred from returning to his restaurant. On Wednesday, a judge set his bond at $20,000.
Watch more in the video below.