Man threatens Wendy’s employee with stolen gun over sauce dispute, police say

GASTONIA, N.C. — A 911 call recording helps illustrate the events leading up to a man’s arrest for allegedly threatening a Wendy’s employee with a gun.

Gastonia police reported that a 35-year-old man became enraged when he didn’t receive sauce with his Wendy’s meal and allegedly pulled out a stolen gun, threatening to shoot an employee over the missing sauce.

Jerrell Oates was in a car at the Wendy’s drive-thru window on East Franklin Boulevard at about 8 p.m. Thursday when the dispute started, witnesses told Channel 9.

Police said Oates got angry when the clerk at the window explained that he had to pay extra for barbecue sauce, which a Google search shows can cost as little as 30 cents.

The manager said Oates was determined not to pay and sat in line with his car in park for 20 minutes. She called 911 to report he was blocking the line, investigators said.

Then, the employee shut the drive-thru window and called 911 again after Oates threatened her and other workers, police said. Officers were on the way to the Wendy’s and were told Oates was armed and driving a car around the parking lot, refusing to leave.

Channel 9 obtained the 911 call recording from the incident.

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“All I told him, he ordered a Baconator. He asked for sauce,” the caller said. “I told him he had to pay for the sauce. ‘Why (expletive) do I got to pay for the sauce.’”

“And he said he has told you he wanted to shoot you?” the operator asked.

“Yeah. He wanted me to come outside he wants to shoot me,” the caller said.

Officers who arrived at the scene said Oates had a stolen handgun out of Mecklenburg County in his pants pocket. The gun was seized. Police said Oates didn’t resist when they arrived.

Oates was arrested and charged with communicating a threat and possessing a stolen handgun. He was released after posting a $2,500 bond.

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