NEW ORLEANS – A man arrested for threatening to blow up a chicken restaurant told police he was talking about using the bathroom, but the owner of the restaurant says it was no laughing matter.
Meghan Selva, a spokesperson for Willie’s Chicken Shack owner Aaron Motwani, said the employees working in the Canal Street restaurant were already on high alert after a recent bomb threat caused a nearby hotel to be evacuated in the middle of the night.
When 30-year-old Arthur Posey came into the restaurant and began making a scene, the employees began to fear for their safety.
Posey was acting in a very confrontational manner and carrying a white bag when he entered the store and asked the shift manager when the restaurant closed, Selva said.
When the employee told Posey she didn’t know when the restaurant closed, things immediately got heated.
“He did say ‘well y’all are about to close because I’m about to blow this place up,’” Selva said. “He then pointed to a place on one of the tables and mentioned that that was where he was going to place the bomb, and then he left.”
Posey did not order anything and he was only in the restaurant for less than five minutes, Selva said.
“He caused a scene and then left the restaurant,” she said.
The shift manager alerted her boss, who advised her to call the police, who were on the scene within minutes, Selva said.
Posey was quickly apprehended, and that’s when Selva said she thinks the bathroom angle began to take shape.
“Of course he mentioned he was talking about the restroom, when if fact he never mentioned the restroom to the actual staff,” Selva said. “If he really needed to use the restroom, when did he do it? Not too long after he left Willie’s, he was arrested by police and taken to the station. We don’t believe that he honestly needed to use the restroom.”
Motwani issued a statement praising his employees for doing the right thing when the scary situation arose.
“The safety of the employees and customers is of the utmost importance, and our employees at the location did the right thing by alerting the authorities to what they anticipated was a possible threat,” Motwani said.