An Alabama man went on a racist rant at a local coffee shop that left the business’ customers disturbed.
According to the Auburn Plainsman, a man walked into a local coffee shop that’s reportedly known for its diversity on Tuesday afternoon and delivered a white supremacy rant.
The Plainsman reports, police were called to Mama Mocha’s on Gay Street after the man, identified as 21-year-old Zachary Taylor Hay, walked in, ordered a coffee, and proceeded to stand in a chair in the middle of the cafe to shout Nazi and white nationalist rhetoric.
“He was giving Heil Hitler arm motions pretty aggressively,” said Sarah Barnett-Gill, the owner of the coffee shop, known for its minority and LGBT-inclusive atmosphere. “He loudly started talking about Nazi rhetoric and White Lives Matter and giving a racist monologue.”
The cafe’s manager, Richard Trammell, told the publication that he was outside on the phone when the incident started, but he rushed back inside when he saw the man wave the Nazi salute.
“As he was walking out, I told him not to come back, and he showed me his gun,” Trammell said. “I have a Black Lives Matter pin on and being a black man, I wasn’t really shook. I wasn’t really scared. But it was a very charged situation.”
“He left the front door, and he was screaming that this is a free country and he has a right to free speech and he can say whatever he wanted,” Barnett-Gill said.
The Auburn Police Department, who eventually caught up to Hay and since they were not in fear for their lives, the cops decided to go easy on the gun-toting Nazi.
Police told the Plainsman in a statement that the man was legally in possession of his weapon, adding: “The incident did not occur in the presence of APD Officers; as such, any criminal charges would have to be filed by a complainant.”
According to AL.com, Barnett-Gill said the police explained that Hay was “within his right to free speech.”
Barnett-Gill immediately issued a declaration banning Hay from both Mama Mocha’s locations. She also wrote a sternly-worded post to Facebook.
“Police handled it. I mean, not a lot was done. We say he is banned, but that doesn’t keep him from coming back,” Trammell said. “Especially with the security issues of him having a gun, we’re kind of on our toes now.”
The incident left cafe-goers shaken and scared.
“It’s really disorienting to think about — in a place like Auburn, in my cafe, which has always been inclusive and loving and never aggressive — that a gun-wielding Nazi got up and started screaming at the people of color,” Barnett-Gill said. “It doesn’t even seem like it’s real.”