A Hesperia man was indicted by a federal grand jury after allegedly taking an assault rifle into a Victorville restaurant after he became angry he wasn’t being served alcohol because he forgot his identification, prosecutors said.
Francisco Alvarado Felix, 32, pleaded not guilty Friday to two counts: being a felon in possession of a firearm and possession of methamphetamine with intent to distribute, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Central District of California said in a news release.
Felix had gone to the BJ’s Restaurant & Brewhouse at 11600 Amargosa Road with his girlfriend around 1 a.m. on Dec. 29, 2018. He tried to order a drink but was denied since he couldn’t prove he was of legal age, according to the indictment and a criminal complaint.
Instead, he allegedly began taking sips from his girlfriend’s alcoholic beverage. When restaurant staff noticed, the manager warned Felix he would be forced to leave if he did it again, officials said.
Felix then left the restaurant of his own volition, but soon returned. The doors were locked because of the late hour, and when the manager opened them he allegedly saw Felix remove a black rifle from under a blanket.
Felix then brandished the rifle, and the manager ran from the restaurant in fear for his life, authorities said.
The defendant allegedly tried to follow him out, but the manager was able to slam the door on the rifle and take hold of the firearm. As the two struggled to control the rifle, a shot was fired into the ground just outside the restaurant, investigators said.
Then Felix allegedly forced the manager to the ground, got into a dark-colored SUV and fled the scene.
He left his girlfriend behind at BJ’s and she was interviewed by law enforcement, according to the complaint.
The next morning, San Bernardino County sheriff’s deputies served a search warrant at Felix’s home and allegedly uncovered around 37 grams of methamphetamine. Inside the defendant’s Lincoln Navigator, they also allegedly found a Smith & Wesson model M&P, which officials described as an “AR-15-type rifle which had a 30-round magazine filled to capacity and one round in the chamber.”
Felix later admitted he got upset after being denied alcohol then went to his car to get his ID, and said he wasn’t sure why he grabbed the rifle except that he wanted to frighten the manager, prosecutors said.
The defendant was previously convicted of felony DUI and three counts of possession with intent to sell methamphetamine, officials said.
If convicted on both new counts, he could face a maximum penalty of 50 years in federal prison.