NASHVILLE, Tenn. — A shift leader at a Taco Bell in Tennessee is accused of arson after video footage showed employees playing with fireworks inside the restaurant that caused $30,000 in damages, fire officials said.
Courtney W. Mayes, 25, was charged with felony aggravated arson on Monday, according to Davidson County online booking records.
Mayes was the shift leader at the time of the fire, which occurred on July 5, WZTV reported. According to surveillance video, several employees were playing with fireworks inside the restaurant, the television station reported.
The employees are accused of locking the doors to the dining room to keep customers out of the restaurant, and then allegedly running around inside with fireworks in their hands, WKRN reported.
At one point the employees went into the men’s restroom and remained out of the video camera’s view, the television station reported.
“The employees return to the lobby after a few minutes and place an item in a trash can near the door,” the Nashville Fire Department said in a news release. “Employees are seen using their cellphone cameras to record the trash can from the outside of the restaurant.
Employees realized they had locked themselves out of the restaurant, fire officials said. The employees were unable to re-enter the restaurant and called 911 when they saw the trash can begin to smoke.
Firefighters forced their way into the restaurant and put out the fire, WKRN reported.
Mayes was arrested Tuesday and bail was set at $5,000, according to Davidson County online booking records.
More arrests are expected over the next few days, fire officials said in the news release.
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