Tallahassee car dealer accused of flashing gun at woman

Paul Wade Thomas
Posted at 10:15 AM, May 30, 2018
and last updated 2018-05-30 07:49:02-04

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) - The owner of a Tallahassee car dealership was arrested after a woman accused him of flashing a gun at her during an argument at a gas station.

Paul Wade Thomas, 42, was charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. He was booked into the Leon County Detention Center on Tuesday and was released on a $5,000 bond.

He told police officers he owns Paul's Affordable Auto Sales.

The victim said she and a friend were at a Shell Gas Station at 3105 Apalachee Parkway when Thomas interjected himself into a conversation they were having with the cashier.

A probable cause affidavit said Thomas interrupted and told them he would put a pillow over their heads and the victim confronted him and said he would not do so.

This lead to an argument, but when the victim's friend began to get "worked up," the victim told police that she grabbed her friend and they both walked outside to their car.

However, Thomas followed them, the court document said, and pointed at her "while shaking his finger in a jeering manner." When the victim noticed Thomas following her, she stated that if he came toward her she was going to swing on him.

The victim said Thomas backed off for a moment, but then came back toward the victim, who "observed what looked like a gun in the front hand pocket of his pull over hoodie."

The victim stated that she faked a phone call and walked away from her vehicle and to the end of the gas pumps in an attempt to get the tag number of Thomas' vehicle.

But she said she believed Thomas knew what she was doing, so he got into his vehicle and drove toward her. When she got into her car, she said Thomas drove beside her and flashed a handgun but did not point it at her.

"... However she feared Thomas was going to attempt a drive by while shooting at her," the document said, so she called 911.

While doing so, the victim sped away from the gas station and went toward Walmart. Thomas followed her, so she drove around the parking lot until law enforcement arrived.

The victim said Washington followed her until sirens were heard in the area, then he pulled into a nearby Popeye's. 

Police eventually detained Thomas and the victim was able to positively identify him as the suspect. When police searched Thomas, they found nearly $10,000 on him and a handgun. 

When police interviewed him, Thomas told officers that he and the cashier were having a conversation when the "irate" victim walked up behind him and began to use racial slurs. 

Thomas said he tried to reason with the victim but she invited him to step outside for a fight and told her passenger to go get a gun. He said he told her that if she got her gun, he had his own in his car.

After that, Thomas said that the victim left but swerved like she was going to hit Thomas before turning on Apalachee Parkway. He told police that he followed the woman to get her tag number but as he saw her swerving on the road and in the WalMart parking lot, he drove into Popeye's. 

However, police note that Thomas' story contradicted both the victim's and other witnesses' statements. Based on the evidence, probable cause was developed to charge Thomas with aggravated assault.