Covington Taco Bell employee, customer go to jail after confrontation

Photo by Howard Reed

Photo by Howard Reed

COVINGTON -- Things got a little out of control at the drive-thru window at Taco Bell restaurant Thursday evening when an employee slugged a customer who allegedly hurled racial epitaphs at her. Both women went to jail.

Arrested were Rebekah Reynolds, 27, of 10100 Hidden Branches Way, who was charged with DUI less safe, disorderly conduct and open container, and Alexis Geathers, 27, of 4437 Raven Valley Ct., Decatur, who was charged with battery.

According to a Covington Police Department incident report, officers were called to the restaurant on U.S. 278 around 7:45 p.m. regarding a harassment complaint. They found Reynolds sitting in her Pontiac Sunfire in the drive-thru lane with the motor running.

An employee with Taco Bell told officers that Reynolds had become verbally abusive, using foul language and racial slurs, towards the restaurant staff while waiting for her order.

The officer said that he asked Reynolds to exit her vehicle to get her side of the story and smelled a strong odor of alcoholic beverage.

"Reynolds stated that she had about four beers and lived just up the road," the report states.

She said she didn't want any problems and begged the officers to allow someone to come pick her up and take her home.

The officer next spoke with another witness who was parked behind Reynolds in the drive-thru. She said she witnessed the confrontation between Reynolds and the Taco Bell employee.

" ... she observed a worker from Taco Bell come out of the establishment and approach Reynolds' car. (She) stated that she saw the two argue and the Taco Bell employee state to Reynolds that 'you are not going to disrespect me.' Then (she) stated she saw the employee strike Reynolds three times in the face."

Meantime, another officer was talking with the manager, Geathers, who stated that Reynolds had pulled up to the order station and was "highly aggravated and began cussing at the teller in charge of the drive-thru," according to the incident report. "At this time Geathers stated that she came over and asked Reynolds to stop swearing, at which time Reynolds began cussing again and calling the staff and her (racially offensive language). This continued on for a few minutes and Geathers stated she couldn't take it any more and went to the vehicle to confront Reynolds. Geathers stated this is when she had lost it and struck Reynolds in the face three times."

In other crime news, Newton County Sheriff's Office deputies responded to a false alarm that sounded at Newton High School around 3:45 a.m. Thursday.

It didn't appear that a break-in had been attempted; however, the responding deputy located a brown wallet belonging to Kyle Earnest Strange, 20, of 40 Walnut Ridge Court.

According to NCSO spokesman Lt. Tyrone Oliver, officers took the wallet and placed it in custody for safekeeping.

"While inventorying the wallet's contents, they found two drivers licenses inside the wallet with the date of birth numbers altered," he said.

Strange was subsequently arrested and charged with forgery in the second degree. He said he was at the school playing baseball when he lost the wallet.