ADOBE STOCK IMAGE Thankfully, the Middle-Aged Malcontent wasn't armed like this burger is, or the situation in DeLand could have been much worse.

A 46-year-old man walked into a DeLand fast-food restaurant at night July 8 and confronted a restaurant employee that he’d quarreled with about a week earlier at the same location.

The Middle-Aged Malcontent asked the restaurant worker if he remembered him, and threatened the worker.

The store manager and the general manager tried to calm things down, but Middle-Aged Malcontent “would not listen and got more aggressive.” He flicked the store manager, and a fight ensued.

The first worker tried to break up the fray, but Middle-Aged Malcontent struck him, too, and the worker defended himself.

The necklace the worker was wearing fell off, a customer retrieved it from the floor and placed it on a table, and Middle-Aged Malcontent seized the jewelry and ran away.

This is the way the general manager told the story: The aggressive/abusive man entered the restaurant and started threatening an employee, and then tried to get behind the counter where the worker was standing. The general manager blocked the guy, and the Middle-Aged Malcontent punched the plexiglass on the counter.

The general manager asked the fellow to leave, and managed to get him to the restaurant door, at which time the fellow “turned, faced [the manager] and pushed [the manager’s] face while also purposefully knocking the hat off [the manager’s] head.”

The manager had a drive-through headset on top of his hat, so, when his chapeau fell off, the headset also fell to the floor and broke.

A DeLand police sergeant located and detained Middle-Aged Malcontent nearby, and police found the employee’s stolen necklace in the suspect’s left front pants pocket.

The pugnacious middle-aged man was charged with five misdemeanors: two charges of battery, and one charge each of criminal mischief damaging property over $100 and under $1,000 (for damaging the headset), petit theft first degree $100-$750 (for taking the necklace), and resisting an officer without violence.

The police report notes that Middle-Aged Malcontent is unemployed. Not surprising, since he doesn’t seem like the kind of guy who’d be a polite, friendly and cooperative worker!

— By Keith Allen, based on local police-agency reports. If you have information about a crime, call Crime Stoppers, 1-888-277-TIPS. You could be eligible for a reward.


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