News

Actions

Warrants served for Jungle Jym's owner

Posted at 11:51 PM, Mar 27, 2018
and last updated 2018-03-27 23:51:27-04

(RNN) – The white owner of a “family fun center” in Georgia who police said pulled a gun on a black customer and her son has been charged with two misdemeanors in the incident.

Roy Taylor, of Valdosta, owns “Jungle Jym’s,” an amusement center that includes an arcade, playground and miniature golf. Last week he is alleged to have pulled a handgun out in a dispute with a customer and her 13-year-old son.

He was charged with one count of pointing a pistol at another and another of reckless conduct. WALB in Albany, GA, reported Taylor turned himself in on Wednesday.

The Valdosta police chief, Brian Childress, said the department reviewed security videos at the business and interviewed witnesses to conclude “there was probable cause that Mr. Taylor committed the offenses.”

The incident occurred on March 17. A Facebook post which brought attention to it was shared more than 1,700 times. It also garnered 524 interactions and 345 comments.

A wave of replies alleged Taylor had a history of antagonistic behavior with people of color.

One black man, Aaron Jerome Mack, said he and his sister had similarly been threatened by Taylor with his gun four years ago. Another, Steven Hall, said he “vowed to NEVER set foot in that place again” after holding his son’s birthday party there two years ago.

Dozens more alleged their own unpleasant experiences at Jungle Jym's and Taylor's racism.

One woman, Desirae Gabriel, who is white, wrote: "We went there one time while we lived in Valdosta and it was just my family and two other families in the facility, one family was white and one black. This man came around to us and the other white family and gave us all kinds of free tokens, made racists comments about the black family to my husband and myself and deliberately didn’t go give that family any tokens. We left and never returned."

A man identifying himself as Taylor’s son, Tony Taylor, wrote a since-deleted post that said the customer yelled and cussed at Taylor and called him a “racist cracker.” He wrote her “huge teen son started mouthing off” and “tried to lunge at Roy aggressively.”

“Roy of course felt his life threatened as he is 85 years old vs. this young huge teen so he showed his gun and again demanded they leave,” he wrote.

Childress however noted that while “there is a counter argument” that Taylor felt he was acting in self-defense, “the problem is that we don’t agree that when he pulled that gun out that it was warranted at that time for him to pull out the firearm.”

A Valdosta police release from Tuesday noted that “there have been multiple posts on social media regarding the matter and many citizens have contacted the police department to include the Chief about the matter.”

Copyright 2018 Raycom News Network. All rights reserved.