The Beefy Crunch Burrito incident
Man upset by price gets in shootout with police; no one hurt.
The price of the Beefy Crunch Burrito had gone up from 99 cents to $1.49 and the man at the Rigsby Road Taco Bell drive-thru had just ordered seven.
The fast food customer was so disgruntled by the price hike he shot an air gun at the manager, displayed an assault rifle and pistol while in the restaurant's parking lot, fled as police were called, and pointed one of his weapons at three officers who pulled him over. Fleeing when they opened fire, he barricaded himself in his hotel room - all over $3.50 plus additional tax.
All three of his weapons were found to be air-powered and not firearms.
The final incident in the burrito-triggered spree happened Sunday afternoon at the Rodeway Inn on North W.W. White Road, engaging SWAT negotiators in a more than three-hour standoff, according to officials and witnesses.
Ricardo Jones, 37, was charged with two felony counts of aggravated assault against a public servant.
Jones was in the Bexar County Jail on bail totaling $50,000. No one was injured in the incident.
Jones was taken into custody about 6:45 p.m. Sunday after officials used tear gas to get him out of the motel room where he was staying. Police recovered the rifle and two handguns, Benavides said.
It all began about four hours earlier when the man put in his order at the Taco Bell/KFC two-for-one restaurant in the 5300 block of Rigsby Road on the city's East Side.
Restaurant manager Brian Tillerson, 41, said his employees told him a customer was upset about the price of the Beefy Crunch Burrito.
"They did use to be 99 cents, but that was just a promotion," Tillerson said. "He pointed a gun at me, and he fired it. I leaned to the side and there was a pop but nothing happened."
Tillerson said the police later found a BB, but the following five minutes "were pretty crazy," he said.
Looking out the windows, he said he saw the man put an assault rifle and a handgun on the roof of his Mitsubishi Endeavor. Customers dove under their tables, the employees scrambled to the back and Tillerson ran to the front to lock the doors as he called police.
The man then jumped into his vehicle and took off, Tillerson said.
Fewer than two miles away, at W.W. White Road and Hershey Drive, officers spotted the suspect and two patrol units pulled over the car, Benavides said. As the officers got out of their cars, the man got out of his car carrying the assault rifle in his hands and pointing it at the officers.
Police initially reported Jones exchanged fire with the officers. But on Monday, an SAPD spokesman said investigators could not be sure about that because his rifle was also a BB gun and they could find no spent BBs. It was unclear who shot out the windshield of a police patrol car during the shooting.
From there, the man sped off to the Rodeway Inn in the 200 block of North W.W. White Road just a few blocks away from Interstate 10.
It was about 3 p.m., and the man refused to come out.
Sharpshooters climbed up on the roof of the Sky Line Food Mart next to the motel. Police blocked off W.W. White in both directions. They evacuated some nearby businesses and some of the rooms in the motel.
Through a megaphone the negotiator could be heard telling the man to pick up the phone.
"No one needs to get hurt," the negotiator said.
Around 6:30 p.m., and without a reply from the man inside, SWAT used tear gas to clear the room, Benavides said. The man came out without incident.
Tillerson, calm and back at work after giving a statement to police, said after hearing that the customer shot at officers he was even more relieved he didn't get into his restaurant.
"The weird thing is," Tillerson said, "He was here a week ago around the same time last Sunday. He yelled at me then too."
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