I was having some trouble coming up with a fresh topic today. The weather is depressing, and I didn’t see anything compelling in the news. Leave it to the good folks at the Recovery from Mormonism message board to come to my rescue. Dave the Atheist posted a thread titled “Pizza at gunpoint.” Within the thread was a link to a news story out of Knoxville, Tennessee. Unfortunately, because I am in Europe and can’t be arsed to turn on my VPN, that link was useless. But I was intrigued by the comments enough to go looking for the story. Sure enough, I found it.
The story is about a 53 year old AK-47 wielding man named Charles Doty, Jr., who, on November 5th, became enraged when he visited a Little Caesars pizza restaurant. Doty was told it would take ten minutes for his pepperoni pizza to be ready. Mr. Doty left the store, then came back with his rifle. He pointed the gun at the employees in the restaurant and demanded his pizza immediately!
Another customer, obviously shocked and terrified by Doty’s antics, handed over her pepperoni pizza and fled the store. Kimberleigh Murrell, who was working her first– and apparently last– shift at the restaurant on that day, was interviewed by WVLT-TV, and explained what happened:
“(Doty) comes walking back in and hasn’t pointed at anybody yet. I was taking care of a female customer and she was just getting ready to leave, then he gets the gun. He pointed at me saying where is my d— pizza. I want my pizza,” Murrell said, describing her emotions at the time as “honestly, fear and disbelief.”
“Like, I was shocked it was over a six dollar pizza,” she added.
Doty also threatened another employee who was trying to leave after his shift was completed. He ran to the back of the store and called 911.
Noah Beeler is a current employee of Little Caesars and was also there when this incident occurred. He said of the incident:
”Calm down. No need to be hostile. And right when I walk up there, I say what in god’s green earth is going through your head, he moves his hand off the trigger and onto the barrel to put it on safety and says don’t get aggravated. I was like man… leave,” Beeler said when he approached Doty Jr.
Mr. Doty is now in deep trouble with the law, and faces charges of four counts of aggravated assault and one count of especially aggravated kidnapping. In Tennessee, a conviction of especially aggravated kidnapping could land Doty in prison for 15 to 60 years, and he could also be fined $50,000.
It’s been years since I last had pizza from Little Caesars. I remember in the 80s, their gimmick was square pizzas and you could get two for the price of one. We had an outlet in my hometown, Gloucester, Virginia, although I don’t remember getting pizza there very often, probably because it was strictly takeout. It wasn’t bad pizza, though… when we were broke. I think we might have had it when we lived in Sanford, North Carolina, because I remember there was a Little Caesars there. They were handy when we wanted something quick and cheap.
Was this man suffering from the munchies? Have COVID-19 restrictions gotten him down? Is he just wanting to go to prison? The mind boggles. It doesn’t appear that he hangs out on Facebook, so there are no clues about what ails him, although a lot of people have posted about him. I wonder if we’ll ever know the outcome of his novel case… is it really worth it to go to prison for cheap pizza?
I looked up the name Charles Doty, Jr., and apparently there is a nurse practitioner by that name in Tazewell, Tennessee. Tazewell isn’t too far from Knoxville. I wonder if Mr. Doty is a nurse who got frustrated and needed a pizza fix? My guess is that the poor nurse practitioner simply shares a name with the guy, which could result in some unfortunate and unwanted communications from the public. Or maybe the nurse practitioner and the gunslinging pizza lover are one and the same.
Anyway, it doesn’t look too good for Mr. Doty. If he’s convicted, he’ll be eating slop for a long time. On the plus side, there’s probably a hack for making pizza in prison. There’s always an opportunity to learn something new.