NORCROSS, Ga. (FOX 5 Atlanta) - A 14-year-old tried stealing two ice cream bars from a convenience store in Norcross and ended up getting a gun pulled on him.
His mother called the clerk's reaction unnecessary and dangerous; the clerk told police it was an act of defense.
In surveillance video obtained by FOX 5 News, the clerk can be seen instructing another person to lock the door. He then approached the teen, who was hiding ice cream in his pocket. The conversation intensified. At one point, the clerk can be seen pulling a gun off his belt and briefly pointing it towards the teen. He told the police, the teen threatened to bring his brother and parents back (something the teen vehemently denies). In the meantime, his friends were outside, waving money, allegedly trying to resolve the escalating situation.
In the end, the clerk decided not to contact the police; he even let the teen walk out with the ice cream since it was already opened, according to a police report.
But the 14-year-old didn't get off completely scot-free. His mother said he is still facing punishment at home from the Aug. 11 incident. Though, while she acknowledges stealing is wrong, she said so were the clerk's actions, telling FOX 5 News she plans to press charges.
"I just want people to stop taking the law in their own hands because my son could've easily gotten shot over ice cream," the mother, who did not want her face on camera, told FOX 5 news. "He was 14, [the clerk] just should’ve called the police."
Police said there are important lessons to be learned from the situation that fortunately did not result in any injuries, writing in a Facebook post: "[It] should have been handled better by ALL parties...[and even] shoplifting can potentially turn into a very dangerous situation."
Another Citgo employee told FOX 5 News the clerk involved in the incident has since been fired.