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Man smoking at Gallivan Center sprayed in face with fire extinguisher

Screenshot from video courtesy Jon Bird.

SALT LAKE CITY — A man says he was sprayed in the face with a fire extinguisher for smoking by a disgruntled business owner at the Gallivan Center.

Jon Bird says that he was at the Gallivan Center on Friday when he stepped out onto the plaza for a smoke break.

Bird said that he had had an encounter earlier in the day telling him not to smoke near the curbside area off of Gallivan Avenue saying that they were too close to the businesses and customers.

After that encounter, Bird told KSL that he reached out to security personnel about the encounter and they told him that he was able to smoke on the Plaza which is where he then ran into that business owner again.

Bird’s girlfriend started filming after she saw that Alex Jamison approached Bird and others carrying a fire extinguisher.

“He came out with energy of hostility, a fire extinguisher in his hands, and said ‘I told you, you can’t be here,’” Bird said. “I’m still in shock and awe. I feel dizzy, kind of shaken up that something like this could actually happen.

“He just told us this a non-smoking area and we needed to walk away from his establishment of business,” he continued.

The two exchanged words when Bird’s girlfriend asked Jamison if he was going to spray him with the extinguisher to which he replied yeah.

When Bird placed the cigarette he was smoking back in his mouth Jamison sprayed him in the face with it.

The Salt Lake City Police Department says they are investigating the incident but declined to comment at the time of writing.

In a statement to KSLTV, Jamison, who owns two restaurants at the Gallivan Center apologized.

 

Well I’ll say that I’m not proud of my behavior, I let myself get egged on and I overreacted. I’m a protective small business owner who has asked hundreds of people not to smoke near our patio in the interest of our customers and our neighbors’ customers. I try to be respectful and generally always get good responses. I asked him multiple times during the day to please go to the designated smoking area but should not have reacted to feeling disrespected. I certainly owe the other person involved an apology and would like to make it right with him however I need to. I did not mean to cause him any harm. Our business is committed to fighting for animal rights and this must include other people. I’m sorry.

Bird says that since the encounter he has experienced side effects from the fire extinguisher including shortness of breath and headaches.