Customer vandalizes downtown restaurant, makes death threats

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. – A Memphis man is accused of vandalizing a popular downtown restaurant and threatening to kill the customers on Thursday night.

Rizzo’s on South Main was closed for lunch Friday after the unruly guest’s visit.

The staff at Rizzo’s initially thought nothing when Jonathan Miller walked in around 9 p.m. and ordered a drink. But soon his one-sided bar chat took some troubling turns.

“Started talking to himself, primarily about wanting to kill himself and kill everyone here,” said Chef Michael Patrick, who owns Rizzo’s.

Staff showed Miller the door, but he soon returned.

Patrick said Miller picked up a cigarette butt receptacle and hurled it through the glass front door. Miller then went to the side of the building and ripped an internet box off the wall.

“A couple of my employees wrestled him down to the ground, held him while the police pulled up,” Patrick said.

WREG uncovered that Miller has been arrested multiple times for vandalism, and that he was arrested twice in 2018 for vandalizing people’s cars while in the nude. Police say that he set a Beale Street clothing stand on fire in 2017.

His alleged actions cost Chef Patrick the $700 to $800 he would have made from the Friday lunch hour, as well as the hundreds of dollars he spent replacing the glass in the front door.

But Patrick isn’t letting it douse his passion for Southern-inspired cuisine.

“A small hiccup and hoping that it’s the worst thing that happens all year,” he said.

Miller will be in court for his latest vandalism charge on Monday. Two previous vandalism cases against him are still pending.

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