A FURIOUS restaurant owner has sprayed a defiant smoker in the face with a fire extinguisher after the man refused to stub out a cigarette.
Jon Bird uploaded the video showing the moment he is sprayed in the face after being confronted by Alex Jamison, the owner of two eateries in Utah.
Bird said he was volunteering for an event at the Gallivan Center off Gallivan Avenue in downtown Salt Lake City when he stepped out to smoke a cigarette near the curb about 5.30pm on Friday.
Speaking to KSL TV, Bird explained: “He came out with energy of hostility, a fire extinguisher in his hands, and said, ‘I told you, you can’t be here’.
“He just told us this a non-smoking area and we needed to walk away from his establishment of business.
Bird added: “I’m still in shock and awe. I feel dizzy, kind of shaken up that something like this could actually happen.”
In the footage, Jamison can be heard telling Bird and another man they are too close and can’t smoke in the area.
However, Bird contends he checked with security and believed he was “definitely further than 25 feet from any entrance or ventilated door or window”.
Call the cops. You can’t f**king smoke right here.
Witness Tim Snyder agreed, saying: “That’s where everybody smokes at, you know?”
Bird’s girlfriend recorded the encounter and can be heard asking: “Are you really going to spray him with that?”
Jamison responds: “I’m going to put that cigarette out. You can’t smoke right here.”
After spraying Bird in the face he added: “Call the cops. You can’t f**king smoke right here.”
Bird shared the video on Facebook and warned: “Keep an eye out for this guy at the Gallivan Center.
“Need to get his info. Assaulted me and ran from the scene before the cops showed up.
“Anyone know any attorneys that can help? Never thought this would happen.”
‘NOT PROUD OF MY BEHAVIOUR’
In a statement to KSL TV, Jamison apologised, writing: “Well I’ll say that I’m not proud of my behaviour, I let myself get egged on and I overreacted.
“I’m a protective small business owner who has asked hundreds of people not to smoke near our patio in the interest of our customers and our neighbours’ customers.
“… I asked him multiple times during the day to please go to the designated smoking area but should not have reacted to feeling disrespected.
“I certainly owe the other person involved an apology and would like to make it right with him however I need to. I did not mean to cause him any harm. Our business is committed to fighting for animal rights and this must include other people. I’m sorry.”
Bird says he is now experiencing side effects including shortness of breath and headaches from the chemicals in the fire extinguisher that he inhaled.
He said he and his girlfriend went to the hospital on Saturday for a check-up.
“Who in their right mind puts a fire extinguisher a foot-and-a-half away from someone’s face and just lets go?” Bird said.
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