Upset By Cheesy Garlic Knots and “Disrespect,” Quartet Trashes Palm Coast Pizza
FlaglerLive | February 21, 2016
Jessica Conti was not happy with her garlic knots. It was something about cheese. The folks at Palm Coast Pizza on Palm Harbor Parkway had apparently put cheese on the garlic knots after Conti ordered the knots Friday evening. Conti did not want cheese on her garlic knots. So she was very upset by the garlic knots.
Pizza workers fulfill hundreds of orders a night. On rare occasion, a mistake is made. Apologies are tendered. The mistake is fixed. The next order is fulfilled. Not with Conti. She became “verbally argumentative” over the cheesy garlic knots, according to the employees.
The 25-year-old Conti, a resident of 56 Leidel Drive in Palm Coast, wanted her money back. The three young employees, 20, 18 and 16 years old, obliged. (Unlike a similar confrontation over an equally grave displeasure with a pizza order at another pizzeria, no guns made their appearance.)
But then Conti got upset again. It wasn’t the garlic knots au fromage anymore. It was the way she was handed the money. There was no cheese on the money. But Conti felt she was being “disrespected by the way the money was put down on the counter and became more irate,” according to a police report.
The confrontation escalated. Vincent Conti, 23, Shawn Cody, 32, and Hareem Jones, 26, who’d been outside but somehow heard about the garlic knot atrocity, entered the business, according to their respective arrest reports, and, with Jessica Conti, allegedly proceeded to trash the place. They pushed the register and the fax machine off the counter and onto the floor. They then entered the kitchen, which is off limits to customers, “and started throwing pizza boxes and food everywhere.”
Someone threw a glass parmesan jar—possibly the very jar that had contained the cheese that ended up on the garlic knots that had outraged Conti—at a television in the customer-lobby area, causing further damage. There is no mention of garlic knots being used as weapons or missiles. The quartet then left before Flagler County Sheriff’s deputies arrived.
Two customers who had witnessed the entire raid knew members of the quartet and identified them to police. The raid was also captured on surveillance video (not available for publication at the moment).
Deputies then went to Conti’s Leidel Drive address. She told deputies she knew why they were there, and she was right. They were there to arrest the quartet, arrests that were conducted without incident, though in one case, that of Hareem Jones, a deputy located a marijuana joint in one of Jones’s pockets, resulting in an additional charge for Jones: pot possession under 20 grams.
Otherwise, each member of the quartet was charged with burglary of an occupied structure, a second-degree felony, and criminal mischief causing damage of under $1,000, a misdemeanor. Property damage was estimated at around $1,000. They were taken to the Flagler County jail, where they were held on $1,500 bond–$2,000 for Jones—which they all posted. They have since been released. Typically in such situations, suspects are required by a judge’s order to stay away from the area at the center of the confrontation. But they would not be barred from placing pizza orders, or order for garlic knots, at other pizza businesses in town.