Man who drove SUV into Mooresville restaurant sentenced to 4 years in jail

MOORESVILLE, N.C. — The man who intentionally drove into a Mooresville restaurant in July was sentenced to four years in jail.

Police said 22-year-old Shaquille Dangelo Steele rammed his SUV into Hotshots Sports Bar & Grill, injuring several people.

[IMAGES: Car rams through Mooresville restaurant]

An employee told Channel 9 that a drunken customer got angry after he wasn't allowed in the restaurant, so he drove his SUV through the bar.

Steele was charged with DWI and assault with deadly weapon with intent to kill inflicting serious injury.

"I think it is ridiculous,” customer Faye Bellamy said. “I guess I'm going to miss having a good drink in there.”

The employee said Steele was drunk before arriving at the bar, which is why he wasn't allowed in. The bar was full of people for $1 beer night.

“It sounded like a hand grenade went out, just a big loud boom and shattering,” employee Tyler Knight said. “I was standing in the room back, in the kitchen.”

Plywood now covers much of the front of the restaurant.

"The guy was on the ground with two other guys and then I guess it got broken up,” witness Hannah Hair said. “He got into his car and then whipped around the corner going 40."

(Photo courtesy of Iredell Co. Firewire)

Witnesses said an employee held Steele down until police arrived, while also protecting him from angry restaurant patrons.

"It sounded like a burnout and then, boom,” witness Brenden Davis said. “I walked outside and there was glass everywhere."

"I think he should definitely be prosecuted,” former employee Laura Brower said. “That's crazy. He could have killed people."