02 Jun Video released by South Wales Police of man waving fake gun at kebab shop staff after refusing to wear mask | UK News
Police have released a video of the moment a man pointed an imitation firearm at kebab shop staff after he refused to wear a face mask inside.
Paul Griffiths was jailed last month after pleading guilty to several charges – including pulling out the paintball-type firearm inside the Rhondda Takeaway in the village of Pentre, South Wales.
A customer and a delivery driver jumped behind the counter and feared they were going to be shot during their terrifying ordeal at around 10.15pm on 5 November last year.
Officers have now shared CCTV footage which showed the 57-year-old being asked to wait outside because he refused to wear a mask.
Griffiths then refused to leave before taking the imitation gun out of his pocket and pointing it at staff, including the shop owner.
A police spokesman said: “A customer and a delivery driver dived behind the counter… the delivery driver then ran to the living quarters and told people to lock the door, before running out of the back of the shop and calling 999.”
During a recording of the 999 call released by South Wales Police, the delivery driver sounded out of breath as he said: “We’ve got a guy who pulled a gun out on us in Rhondda Takeaway… he was arguing about masks, we were arguing back, and then he pulled a gun out.”
Police bodycam footage then showed armed officers arriving and ordering Griffiths to walk backwards slowly out of the shop with his hands in the air.
While being handcuffed, police were heard telling Griffiths they were responding to reports he had a weapon on him, to which he replied: “No, I’ve got a paintball gun on me.”
The firearm was a prohibited CO2-powered paintball-type gun, but while in custody officers obtained a warrant to search Griffiths’ home and discovered he was hiding a cannabis factory.
Griffiths, from Ystrad in the Rhondda Fawr valley, pleaded guilty to possessing an imitation firearm in a public place with intent to cause fear of violence, possessing a prohibited weapon, and cannabis production.
He was jailed for 20 months at Merthyr Tydfil Magistrates’ Court on 20 May this year.
Detective Constable Lucy Robins, said: “Griffiths’ actions that night were plain stupid and reckless. The people inside the shop that night genuinely feared for their lives.
“I would like to praise the actions of the owner who acted calmly and put the safety of others first by trying to keep the man inside the shop.
“The delivery driver raised the alarm quickly which ensured our armed officers were on the scene in minutes while he was still at the scene.”