Man arrested after bringing gun to gay bar and yelling homophobic slurs
A man in North Carolina has been arrested after bring a gun and knife to a gay bar and yelling homophobic slurs.
Grayson Wade Pittman, 27, was arrested on Tuesday after the incident at Ruby Deluxe bar in Raleigh, North Carolina.
According to reports, Pittman was turned away from the bar for aggressive behaviour, before pulling a gun in a dispute with staff.
He then made a number of homophobic comments, prompting them to call 911.
According to ABC 11 police arrived on the scene and secured the gun, as well as a knife and a Taser in his bag.
Pittman has a long criminal record, the outlet notes, having been arrested 12 times since 2010.
The bar’s owner, Tim Lemuel, told ABC he would tighten security in the wake of the incident.
He said: “I am so grateful that he didn’t get into the club.
“In the future we’re actually putting in a ‘no backpacks’ policy. I own three clubs in Raleigh and we’re gonna put in a ‘no backpacks’ policy in all of those just to make sure that doesn’t happen.
“And we’re gonna tell everybody else they probably should do the same thing.”
Pittman was freed on $1,500 bail – and later posted an “apology” on Facebook.
He wrote: “I apologise to Ruby’s and the staff for my actions and choice of words.
“I made a mistake and very poor judgment.. the guy next to the door guy as I was leaving was threatening my life after I made some rude comments which is why things got out of hand. No excuses what I did was wrong and I apologise.”
He is due in court next month over the incident, and faces two counts of carrying a concealed weapon and one count of disorderly conduct.
The incident shows the potential vulnerability of LGBT establishments as a target for violence, more than two years on from the Orlando massacre.
Forty-nine people died at Orlando’s Pulse gay club during a horrific mass shooting in June 2016, when a gunman opened fire at the crowd. At the time it was the most deadly mass shooting in recent US history, though it has since been surpassed.
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Survivors of the Pulse massacre this month met with students and families from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, where 17 people died following a mass shooting last month.
The two groups discussed their calls for stricter gun control – which have been repeatedly rebuffed by Republican lawmakers and the NRA.
Pulse survivors wore shirts that bore the slogan ‘We Will Not Let Hate Win’, while Parkland survivors wore shirts that read ‘Kids First, Politics Second’.
In the UK this month an extremist teacher was convicted on a terror charge after plotting attacks on London venues including gay bars.