Trial set for man who allegedly pulled a pistol at Olive Garden
October 8, 2013
A Douglas County man was bound over for trial Monday on charges of assault with a deadly weapon for allegedly pulling a pistol on Olive Garden employees.
No one was hurt in the July 21 incident.
The preliminary hearing didn't work out well for David Paul Lane, who has been in custody since his arrest. He originally was charged with carrying a concealed weapon and two counts of assault with a deadly weapon for allegedly pointing a semi-automatic pistol at restaurant manager April Vlach and chef Daniel Cewinski.
But two other restaurant employees, Erica Olivas and Amanda Fratis, testified during the preliminary hearing that he pointed the weapon at them as well. That prompted Deputy District Attorney Mark Krueger to ask that two counts of assault with a deadly weapon be added.
Justice of the Peace Tom Armstrong agreed to allow the amended complaint.
Armstrong also rejected a motion by Lane's counsel, Marcie Ryba, to hold off the hearing until after a lineup could be conducted to see whether witnesses can identify Lane.
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She was attempting to cast doubt on the idea that Lane was the man at the restaurant, given that he was arrested hours after the incident. She also questioned why deputies were able to show employees a "mugshot" of Lane less than a half-hour after the incident.
Vlach, Cewinski, Fratis and other witnesses, including restaurant host Mitchell Parra, all said they were sure the man at the restaurant was Lane.
They said Lane showed up at the restaurant demanding to see the manager. Vlach said that when she talked to him, he didn't say why he was upset or what had gone wrong but wouldn't calm down and demanded to go back into the kitchen area. That's when he pulled the gun and pointed it at her stomach, she said, adding that she was afraid she'd be killed.
Cewinski said that when he told Lane he couldn't go into the kitchen, the defendant pulled back the slide, cocked his weapon and held it beside Cewinski's head, asking if he wanted to die. Among the pieces of evidence is the bullet that fell to the floor when that allegedly happened.
After seeing a man with a gun walking through the restaurant, employees fled and ushered customers out through the front and emergency exits of the South Carson Street restaurant.
Olivas saw the gunman as he left and memorized the license plate number of his car, reporting it to Carson City deputies.
Sheriff Ken Furlong credited the actions of Olive Garden employees with preventing what could have been a mass shooting.
Fratis was one of two employees who agreed to go to Douglas County to identify the gunman. She said she was certain it was Lane, adding that she still has nightmares about the incident.
Lane also faces a charge of assaulting an officer for allegedly putting up a fight with the Douglas County deputy who arrived at his home to make the arrest.
Armstrong set the District Court arraignment on the charges for Oct. 22.
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