PIGEON FORGE — A local man jumped the counter of a Subway restaurant on Wears Valley Road and assaulted a worker in front of customers, then fired randomly into the store before surrendering to police early Friday evening.
Krayle David Wheeler, 56, of 526 Golf Road in Pigeon Forge, “jumped over the counter and pointed a handgun at the employee … forced (he)r to the back door of the store while placing his hands on her breasts and ‘rubbing all over,’ ” according to arrest warrants.
He then forced her back to the front of the store just as a woman entered with her two juvenile daughters, according to warrants.
Wheeler pointed the firearm at the woman, and at that point the Subway employee escaped his grasp. She and the customers all ran out of the store, the warrants said.
“After the victims exited the store, Mr. Wheeler began shooting in multiple directions inside the store,” the warrant said. ‘Mr. Wheeler shot through the front glass of the store towards Wears Valley Road in direction of heavy traffic.”
A release from Pigeon Forge Police said the incident happened at about 6:22 p.m. at the restaurant, located in a strip mall at 335 Parkway.
When police arrived on the scene they found Wheeler sitting behind the restaurant. They located the gun under a cabinet inside.
They also found meth and heroin on Wheeler when they searched him, and staff at the Sevier County Jail found more meth when they searched him before booking him there.
Wheeler admitted to firing his gun in the store, and the incident was recorded on security cameras, according to the warrants.
They have charged Wheeler with aggravated sexual battery, felony vandalism, especially aggravated kidnapping, reckless endangerment, and four counts of aggravated assault. He was being held at the jail Monday in lieu of $350,000 bond.
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