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A Utah business owner was filmed spraying a man in the face with a fire extinguisher because he refused to stop smoking by his restaurant.
Jon Bird, the man smoking in the video, shared footage of the encounter between him and Alex Jamison, who owns two restaurants near the Gallivan Center in Salt Lake City.
In the video, Jamison say Bird is in a 'customer area' and shouldn't be smoking there.
Jamison can be seen arguing with Bird and another man. A woman is recording as events unfold. She asks the business owner: "Are you really going to spray him with that fire extinguisher?"
He replies that Bird needs to put his cigarette out. Bird then puts it in his mouth and carries on smoking while Jamison points the extinguisher at his face. He goes on to say: "Do it."
He then sprays a short burst in his face before backing away.
Bird tells the man next to him to 'call the cops'.
Jamison replies: "Call the cops. You can't f**king smoke right here."
Bird then shared the footage on Facebook.
He wrote: "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."
Speaking to WSBT, Bird said he was volunteering for an arts festival when the incident took place and a security guard allegedly told him he was OK to smoke in the area.
Utah law says that smoking within 25 feet of a business entrance is illegal.
Salt Lake police arrived at the scene, but by the time they had got there, Jamison had already left. The police has confirmed it is investigating the case but have declined to comment further, while Bird has now hired an attorney to pursue an assault claim.
In a statement to KSL TV, Jamison apologised to Bird, saying: "I'm not proud of my behavior. 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 neighbors' customers. I try to be respectful and generally always get good responses.
"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."
Featured Image Credit: Facebook/Jon Bird
Topics: US News
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