Officer arrests diners at Waffle House for playing music in viral video

A viral video circulating on social media showed the moment a Tennessee cop arrested two diners at a Waffle House for allegedly disrupting his coffee break.

Carlos Gaena, who goes by @ jarochito51 on TikTok, uploaded the video on Saturday and has so far received over 531,800 views and 4,300 comments.

“Funny how they can just accuse you with no proof of anything,” the video caption said. “I respect the law but not that kind. 1200 dollars later.”

In the three-minute video, the officer told Gaena and her friend that they couldn’t “cause a scene inside the store”. The incident happened on October 10 at around 3:40 a.m., Lawyer & Democrat reported, but the video was posted over the weekend.

“After a fun night out with my mate, we were arrested for playing laberinto music at the Waffle House,” the text read on the screen. “I guess he doesn’t like our music.”

The officer in the video has been identified as Wes Martin, an officer with the Madisonville, Tennessee Police Department. Martin is also running for the post of Monroe County Commissioner.

In a viral video, two men claimed to be arrested by a Tennessee police officer for “causing unrest” while playing their music at Waffle House. A location of the restaurant chain is shown in the image above.
PATRICK T. FALLON / Contributor / Getty

Martin said The Lawyer and Democratthat he was at Waffle House having breakfast when the two men reportedly started yelling and whistling inside the restaurant. He said he announced his presence and asked the men to calm down, but when they didn’t he approached them.

Martin started arguing with Gaena and the officer claimed Gaena’s eyes were red and he smelled of alcohol, the newspaper reported.

“When I can hear you over there, there’s a problem,” Martin told the men in the video. “What I’m telling you is you can eat in peace, or you can go to jail.”

After a few back and forths, Martin asked Gaena to stand up.

“You’re going to jail, get up,” Martin said in the video. “Get up or I’ll pull you up. “

Gaena was then handcuffed and escorted out of the Waffle House and asked her friend, who has been identified as Rodriguez Escobar, to record the entire incident. Escobar then spoke to Martin outside the police car and said the exchange was not necessary. Martin then asked how much the men should drink.

“You had something, I can smell it,” Martin said.

Escobar replied that he had nothing to drink.

In the second part, Martin accused the men of “booing and screaming” and “hiding a scene” inside the restaurant. He said he was just trying to enjoy his coffee “in peace”, but failed.

“This is not good,” read the onscreen text of the video. “No one was arguing with him.”

Eventually, Martin asked Escobar to place the phone on top of the car as he was also under arrest.

“You go to jail, put the phone down,” Martin said.

Both men were charged with public intoxication and disorderly conduct.

Many users flocked to the comments and mentioned that they believed the arrest was racially motivated.

“I bet if it was a white family singing Taylor Swift they wouldn’t have a problem,” one user commented.

“Take it to court,” wrote another. “Show this video to the judge, the cop will laugh and the judge will drop this.” “

Gaena responded in the comments by saying that although the charges were dropped, he had to pay $ 1,200.

“It’s not fair,” Gaena replied.

Another user said the two were cordial to the cop and should hire a lawyer.

“He can’t stop you if the restaurant didn’t even ask you to leave, that was discrimination,” the user commented.

In a follow-up video, Gaena thanked everyone for the support he received on his first video. He explained that he was not drunk and that he asked the waitress if she could play a song and she said she would play it over the speaker.

Gaena said no one had complained about the music and that he and his friend were just “happy and having fun”. He said he assumed Martin just didn’t appreciate their music or the fact that they were having fun.

“I always obey the law and respect the police, but what happened to us was wrong,” he wrote.

In July, Martin arrested another restaurant in the same Waffle House for public intoxication. Michael Ray Harmon, 36, was arrested by Martin after he allegedly “walked in circles” in the restaurant’s parking lot.

Harmon told Martin he was doing a “rain dance” and was suspected of being intoxicated with synthetic cathinones, also known as bath salts.

Martin reported that Harmon gave a false name and became combative.

News week contacted the Madisonville Police Department for comment.

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