Arkansas couple claiming to be Muslim converts accused of threatening diner waitress over slow service
A white Arkansas couple who say they are Muslim converts were taken into custody on Saturday morning after being accused of making terroristic threats over a waitress’s service at a diner, 5News reports.
The married couple, Alan and Daphne Crawford, were arrested for questioning by the FBI near a shopping mall at about 8:30 a.m. local time.
“The two individuals were arrested with the assistance of state and local partners as part of an ongoing federal investigation,” an FBI statement provided to 5News said. “Unfortunately, at this time we can provide no additional details. We can state that we are not aware of any threats to the public.”
The station reports that Alan Crawford became upset while eating at Mel’s Diner in Prairie Grove on May 24. He accused the waitress serving their table of slamming the door between the dining area and the kitchen. Crawford also became upset because he felt his order was taking too long and the food was too expensive.
The relatively mundane food service complaint crossed into criminal territory when Daphne allegedly told the waitress, “People like you are the reason we kill” and Alan said, “Only a Christian” would treat them like that, according to an arrest warrant affidavit obtained by 5News.
After the confrontation, the couple targeted others with social media posts that showed Alan Crawford in “Muslim attire” kneeling with an assault rifle.
It’s not the first time the Crawfords have been in trouble with the law — or in the news.
In December, they were kicked out of Central Mall in Arkansas after shoppers became uncomfortable with their garb and reported that Alan was taking videos of people and store entrances.
“I would probably absolutely destroy a bacon cheeseburger or some fries with bacon on them, or something like that,” he told 5News at the time, then joked about the fact that devout Muslims generally don’t eat pork. “When we were scouting out the mall, quote-unquote, we ate a load of bacon cheese fries, which ISIS would happily kill me for.”
Both were arrested on Thursday in relation to the restaurant incident but were released on bail. They were taken back into custody Saturday to speak with federal agents. Alan Crawford was also arrested after a June 8 incident where he threatened to kill a car lot owner after a disagreement over a damaged vehicle, 5News reports.
The FBI was alerted to that encounter by a member of the local Muslim community.