ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – A quick prank could be costly for one Albuquerque man. He admitted to throwing a fake grenade inside the Frontier Restaurant while it was packed on Memorial Day during the lunch hour.
“It could have been a very dangerous situation,” said Tom Hoeksema, a customer who reacted outside the restaurant on Tuesday.
Henry Jameson, 31, is behind bars accused of intentionally throwing a fake grenade inside the Frontier Restaurant with the intent to make patrons think it was a real explosive. The charge is considered a fourth degree felony and could land Jameson in jail for more than a year if he’s convicted.
“It represents an attack on a landmark institution here in Albuquerque,” said Hoeksema.
According to a criminal complaint, a customer “initially thought the device could be real, but it was very close to his feet, and upon closer inspection, realized it was a plastic smoke grenade.”
Jameson has been in and out of jail for being drunk in public, on a marijuana charge and most recently he was arrested for domestic violence.
According to the criminal complaint, Jameson said that he and a friend “were daring each other to throw the ‘grenade’ inside the restaurant.”
“You could have had a stampede, you could have had any number of extreme reactions on people’s part,” said Hoeksema.
Fortunately, Jameson didn’t cause any panic at the restaurant. A police officer later caught up with him in a nearby alley.
The Frontier management said a bus boy removed the device upon realizing it was a fake. They say operations were not interrupted.