MORROW, Ga. — A 31-year-old man, believed to have been having a mental health crisis, is in custody after causing a disturbance at Southlake Mall on Black Friday, according to Morrow Police.
Authorities said the person threatened to "shoot up the place" and acted like he was armed as he searched for something in his waistband and covered his mid-section with a shoebox. When officers arrived, they found him at the upper entrance of Macy's inside the mall.
Morrow Police said the man was told several times to show his hands and drop the box. He didn't comply and a Clayton County Police officer smacked the box out of his hands.
Then, a Morrow Police officer tased him twice. The first attempt had a "clothing disconnect" and the taser was deployed for a second time, the police department said.
"Due to the loud pops of the TASER deployments, customers inside/near Macy’s believed that someone was shooting and fled the store," Morrow Police wrote in social media post.
No one was hurt after the incident and customers were assured that it was safe to go back inside, Morrow Police said.
The man is being charged with two counts of terroristic threats (toward mall security officers), one count of simple battery on a law enforcement officer (incident while being interviewed), and two counts of obstruction (failure to comply with initial verbal commands and then resisting arrest after being Tased), the police department said.
Morrow Police said no weapons were found on the man. However, while he was being interviewed, the man allegedly spat in a Morrow Police officer's face.
"Miscommunication with Clayton County E-911 resulted in a 'shots fired' call where multiple units from neighboring agencies responded," the police department wrote. "Morrow PD advised dispatch that no shots had been fired, and was only requesting more officers for crowd control, but this information did not get to the responding officers who flooded the mall, making the situation appear worse than it was."
The man remains in custody at the Clayton County Jail, Morrow Police said.