Restaurateur shoots fire extinguisher in face of smoking man

Lawyer says man checked with security

By John Franchi

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (CNN) - Video captured outside the Gallivan Center in Salt Lake City, Utah, that shows a confrontation between a restaurant owner and a man smoking a cigarette, is going viral, KSTU reported.

The video shows the restaurateur shooting chemicals from a fire extinguisher in the face of Jon Bird, the station reported.

A lawyer for Bird says her client was volunteering at the Urban Arts Festival when he took a smoke break.

“He was where he should be, and he cleared that with security to make sure he was able to smoke there,” said Rakay Michael, Bird’s attorney.

In the video, the confrontation escalates with a bystander heard asking, “You’re really going to spray him with a fire extinguisher?”

A few seconds later, after Bird appears to exhale some smoke, the man holding the extinguisher blasts a shot of the chemicals from a few feet away.

“I think it was definitely out of line,” Michael said. “Mr. Bird wants Alex [the man with the extinguisher] held accountable.”

Salt Lake City Police are investigating and interviewing witnesses. They say it is possible misdemeanor assault charges could be filed.

As investigators try to get to the bottom of what happened, Bird has seen a doctor and claims he is feeling the effects of the chemicals.

“He is suffering from breathing problems, coughing, his eyes burn, he has constant headaches and we don’t know what long term effects are going to be present,” Michael said.

Several attempts were made to contact the restaurateur.

 

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