A Plantation man lost his cool over an iced vanilla coffee, pistol-whipping a Dunkin’ Donuts drive-through worker while his wife shouted, “Shoot him, shoot him.”
Tuesday’s melee was caught on surveillance video, which Lauderhill police released Wednesday. The video shows Jeffrey Wright, 27, repeatedly pounding the employee, Rajay Hall, 19, on the head with a handgun over an unsatisfactory coffee order while patrons tried to break up the melee.
During the altercation, Wright’s wife, Alexis Longo, 22, allegedly urged Wright to shoot Hall, police said.
Hall said Wednesday that Longo never did tell him exactly what was wrong with the java that she ordered around 1 p.m. Tuesday. “You’re not talking to me like I’m a dog. If [Longo had] told me it needed more sugar, it wouldn’t have elevated to that point,” he said.
Hall said he wasn’t hurt during the fracas at the doughnut shop, 7125 W. Oakland Park Blvd. He said Wright “had me in a hold” and he was unaware that Wright had been pistol-whipping him until after the fight. “I didn’t even realize he was hitting me with the gun. I thought he was just hitting me with his fist and I was just punching him back,” Hall said.
Police say that Wright and Longo bought a coffee at the drive-through, but were unhappy with their order and went into the shop to speak with a manager. They instead got into an argument with Hall, and things turned physical when Longo tried to strike Hall.
Wright got involved and witnesses attempted to break up the fight, the report said. Then Wright — who works as a security guard and carries a concealed weapons permit, according to an assistant public defender — reached for his gun.
“During the course of the altercation, it says you retrieved your firearm, a 9mm Taurus handgun with seven rounds in the magazine and one in the chamber,” Judge John “Jay” Hurley said during Wright’s first-appearance court hearing Wednesday. “This all happened in front of the customers at Dunkin’ Donuts.”
The surveillance video shows Wright entering the store with his wife behind him and appearing to argue with the employee in the entranceway. A customer intervenes and separates Longo and Wright from the employee, but Wright continues pacing in the entranceway before Longo aggressively approaches Hall.
Wright then appears to throw the first punch and, as the melee moves further into the store, the group knocks down a poster display. Wright then grabs his gun and brings it down it on Hall’s head, the video shows.
Meanwhile, an elderly woman in a walker, who arrives at the store while the brawl is underway, attempts to squeeze through the doorway, but ultimately remains outside.
Longo breaks away from the fight and appears to yell while her husband pistol-whips Hall. Wright finally puts the gun in his waistband near the small of his back and store employees seem to try to calm him down, the video shows.
Hall said the “adrenaline rush” of the fracas made him feel undaunted — for at least some of the time. At one point he locked himself in the bathroom, but overheard Longo tell her husband that he should have shot him, he said.
That’s when Hall unlocked the door in an attempt to confront the couple, but customers persuaded him to stay inside the bathroom, he said.
Police reviewed the surveillance video; it backed up the witnesses’ and Hall’s accounts, Hurley said.
Wright was charged with aggravated battery with a deadly weapon and Longo was charged with simple battery. Wright was ordered held on a $20,000 bond; Longo was held on a $1,000 bond.