A drunken man who jumped onto a bar and “praised Allah as the only god” panicked customers at an Iowa restaurant and was subsequently arrested Friday night, authorities said.
Caldwell police Lt. Joey Hoadley told KTVB-TV that the incident happened at around 8:15 p.m. and that officers were at Horsewood’s Restaurant within two minutes of receiving the call.
Jessie and Aaron Horsewood, the restaurant owners, said the man, identified as Ralmanzow Bell, had been sitting quietly in the restaurant the entire night when he suddenly got up on top of the bar, told everyone to be quiet and then yelled “Allah is the only one true god.”
The owners told the station everyone immediately ran out of the restaurant. They said Bell was wearing a backpack and customers were worried he might’ve had a weapon inside it.
“They literally left every single thing behind, purses hanging on chairs, cell phones, there were cell phones sitting on tables,” Jessie Horsewood told KIVI-TV.
Christopher Ozuna, a bartender, ripped the backpack off of Bell and restaurant staff members tackled the 21-year-old to the ground and held him there until police arrived.
“We had to react in the way that we did,” Aaron Horsewood told the station.
Witnesses described the incident as a “surreal experience.”
Police searched Bell’s backpack only to find alcohol inside. He was arrested on a disorderly charge and was booked into Canyon County jail. Officers said Bell had to be taken to a hospital first because he was drunk.
“I think this is more of a case of a guy who was intoxicated and did something out of the norm and that scared a lot of people and freaked some people out,” Hoadley said.
Caldwell police said that Bell has had several previous run-ins with law enforcement in the past.