Police say irate customer on drugs put Rogersville McDonald’s on ‘lockdown’

Jeff Bobo • Aug 6, 2013 at 2:08 PM

ROGERSVILLE — The Rogersville McDonald’s restaurant went on lockdown early Monday morning when a teen, who was allegedly very high on drugs, became irate after demanding a refund on a drive-thru breakfast order that took him nearly a half hour to make.

Police said that beginning shortly before 4 a.m., Patrick Jess Gilliam took about 18 minutes trying to order breakfast at the menu/order area of the drive-thru, but still couldn’t make up his mind.

The drive-thru employee then asked Gilliam, 18, 645 W. Bear Hollow Road, Rogersville, to pull up to the first window, where it took him another 10 minutes to get his $15 order straight.

During that time, however, about 10 cars had jammed up behind Gilliam, and the store manager reportedly had words with Gilliam as he tried to get Gilliam to complete his order.

Gilliam paid for the order at the first window, but by the time he got to the pick-up window he decided he wanted a refund because he felt the manager had been rude to him.

Although Gilliam received his refund, he allegedly became irate and began banging on the drive-thru window.

At this point it had been about a half hour since Gilliam arrived.

After Gilliam allegedly began beating on the drive-thru window, McDonald’s reportedly locked down its drive-thru and called 911.

At 4:47 a.m., Rogersville Police Department Officer Travis Fields arrived at the McDonald’s on Rt. 66 and found cars lined up almost all the way around the building behind Gilliam.

Fields told the Times-News it was immediately obvious that Gilliam was “very high on drugs.” A subsequent search of Gilliam’s vehicle allegedly revealed him to be in possession of three Opana pills.

Only part of a syringe was recovered from the vehicle, but Fields said Gilliam had fresh syringe marks on both arms.

“It was just a weird situation, and I guess he was so under the influence that he didn’t realize how much time he was taking or what he was doing,” Fields said. “They were asking for his order and he couldn’t make his mind up. He’d changed his mind, and this went on and on until finally they ask him to come up to the first window. Then it takes another 10 minutes there. In the meantime they’ve got this traffic piling up behind him trying to get food, and evidently the manager comes up and says, ‘You’ve taken up 28 minutes of our time and we’ve got other customers lined up.’ ”

What puzzled Fields the most about the whole ordeal was why Gilliam became so irate after receiving his refund.

Fields added, “After all this the manager agreed to refund his money, and then he starts beating on the window. Of course they’re freaking out because they don’t know what he’s capable of or if he’s armed. So they have to lock the drive-thru window. They went on lockdown — locked all their windows and shut the drive-thru completely down.”

Fields said Gilliam was “aggressive” and “smart” and “everyone was in the wrong except for him.”

Upon removing Gilliam from his vehicle, Fields allegedly found the three Opana pills in plain view in a plastic baggy just inside the driver’s side door.

Another pill believed to be Xanax was allegedly located in Gilliam’s “purse.”

Gilliam allegedly performed very poorly on his field sobriety test.

“I asked him, ‘How long do you think it took you to make your order?” Fields said. “He said, ‘I don’t know. Maybe 10 minutes.’ He said, ‘I was trying to put $20 in the Ronald McDonald House (donation) box’. I said, ‘Sir, it doesn’t take 20 minutes to put a $20 bill in there.’ He just didn’t have a clue how messed up he was.”

Gilliam was charged with DUI, possession of Schedule II narcotics, and possession of Schedule III narcotics.

As of Monday afternoon, he remained held in the Hawkins County Jail without bond pending arraignment set for Wednesday in Sessions Court.

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