PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney is reacting after an incident involving a gun being drawn on a man in Old City. This started over a confrontation about safety precautions related to the coronavirus and the incident, which was caught on video, triggered a police investigation.
It’s a video that has been viewed hundreds of thousands of times on Twitter, showing a confrontation where the owner of Infusion Lounge in Old City points a handgun at another man on 2nd Street Sunday.
A witness named Liz, seen in the video trying to de-escalate the situation, says the passerby was upset over the lack of social distancing among those eating and drinking outside.
“He kept going and kept screaming about social distancing, that’s when Jamie, the gentleman that pulled the gun stood up and was going to initiate what I thought was a fistfight,” Liz said.
In an interview with Eyewitness News Monday night, Infusion owner Jamie Atlig says he drew his gun because he felt the man was threatening him and that the bike lock the man grabbed in defense was a gun.
“As he’s getting closer, he reaches behind his back like this, starts pulling out a metal object like this, which I at that point thought was a gun ‘cause I saw a black handle,” Atlig said.
Disputes over social distancing are unlikely to die down anytime soon. Gov. Tom Wolf said Monday that Pennsylvania’s mandate to wear a mask when outside of your home is likely to be in place until there is a COVID-19 vaccine.
When asked about the incident in Old City, Mayor Kenney offered his thoughts.
“Be thoughtful, be unselfish, be kind to each other, and help us get some gun control in this country so that people don’t resort to pulling a gun on someone in an argument,” he said.
Meanwhile, Philadelphia police have launched an investigation and are still looking to speak with the man in the video and any other witnesses.
Many who’ve viewed the clip have already formed strong opinions about it. A woman who asked that her name be withheld held a protest outside of the lounge Tuesday afternoon.
“I think that this man needs to have his gun license taken away from him,” she said. “I think he needs to have his liquor license stripped of him. The casualness out here is so weary to me.”
A police spokesman said it is too early in the investigation to determine if anyone involved will face charges, however, pulling a weapon on someone could lead to a charge of recklessly endangering another person.