A Silver Spring man was arrested and charged with first-degree assault, three counts of second-degree assault and other charges after allegedly wielding a shovel at two security guards at Tropicana Restaurant in Takoma Park on Nov. 23, police said.
Jairo B. Francia, 31, was arrested around 1:30 a.m. on Nov. 24 after a roughly two-hour search, said Cpl. Cynthia Conrad of the Takoma Park Police Department.
Takoma Park Police were called to the 8600 block of Flower Avenue for a fight at about 11:23 p.m., according to a news release from Public Information Officer Cathy Plevy. When officers arrived at Tropicana, Francia threw a shovel at a Takoma Park Police officer who ordered him to drop his weapon. The news release said the shovel struck the officer on his foot and Francia fled on foot toward Sligo Creek Parkway.
An officer who responded to the call described hearing “a single gunshot” being fired after Francia was ordered to drop his shovel, but did not see who fired the weapon, according to court documents obtained by The Gazette.
Police did not recover a gun from Francia when they took him into custody, Plevy said, and no one was reported hurt from the gunshot.
Francia ran several hundred yards and disappeared into the woods behind Roanoke Avenue, according to the news release. With the help of Montgomery County Police and Maryland-National Capital Park Police, Sligo Creek Parkway was closed and a K-9 unit was deployed, the release said.
He was then found at Carroll Avenue and Long Branch Parkway before disappearing again. Police eventually found him at the 7-Eleven at 900 Merrimac Drive in Takoma Park, where he refused lawful orders and was taken into custody and arrested.
An investigation revealed that Francia was asked to leave the restaurant because he was “drunk and disorderly,” according to the release, and smashed the front glass door with his fist as exited. Outside the restaurant, he struck one of the security guards in the face, who fired his Taser at Francia.
Though he struck Francia’s upper torso, it “did not take effect.”
Francia also encountered a female victim in front of her home on Flower Avenue and vandalized her vehicle. According to the release, Francia threatened to shoot the woman when she asked him not to touch her vehicle.
He then returned to Tropicana and engaged the guard in “another physical altercation,” which led to him picking up a shovel at the rear of the business when police arrived.
Francia was being held in the Montgomery County Detention Center in lieu of $100,000 bail as of Tuesday afternoon, according to a records coordinator at the detention center.
A trial for Francia, of the 13800 block of Castle Boulevard, is scheduled for Dec. 21, according to online court records.
Staff writer Jeremy Arias contributed to this report.