Okmulgee Police: Gun Owner Intervenes When Drunk Diner Pulls Out Knife

Wednesday, February 18th 2015, 7:00 pm
By: News On 6

Police have arrested a man they said pulled a knife inside an Okmulgee restaurant filled with customers.

Employees at Debi's Filling Station off U.S. Highway 75 said one of those customers stepped in to help.

News On 6 talked exclusively to the waitress who watched it all unfold.

Employees said the man reached for a knife in his right pocket.

Fortunately, there was another diner sitting in a booth who had a concealed-carry license and a weapon of his own.

Before burgers were even on the grill at Debi's Filling Station, employees said a man walked in around 10 a.m. ready to fight.

“We never felt threatened at all because it wasn't toward us, but in this situation the good guy had the gun and helped diffuse the situation,” waitress Dayna Rucker said.

Rucker was here behind the counter when 26-year-old Christopher Harjo reportedly confronted one of her customers.

"He thought they were staring at him, challenging him to fight, was doing a lot cussing, name calling,” Okmulgee Police Chief Joe Prentice said. “He produced the knife and opened it."

Rucker said she couldn't see the knife from where she was standing, but she saw how the customer reacted.

“He drew his gun and said, ‘He's got a knife. Put your knife away. I have a gun.,'” Rucker said. “He had a concealed-carry license and he was very clear about what he had."

Eventually, the man ran out the front door of the restaurant right when an Okmulgee Police Officer pulled into the parking lot.

“[Harjo] was very intoxicated,” Prentice said. “He was belligerent, calling officers names, cursing."

Prentice said his officer had to use his Taser to get Harjo in handcuffs.

Rucker said Harjo has been in the restaurant before, but he never acted violent.

She feels fortunate the customer intervened before someone got hurt.

“I was glad he was here at that point in time," Rucker said.

Employees say Harjo is no longer welcome at the restaurant. He was arrested on several complaints, including assault with a dangerous weapon.