The weather on Sunday evening was unseasonably temperate for Dallas. The heat of the day, which barely cracked 90, faded rather quickly. By 6:30 p.m., it was pleasant enough for a quartet of diners at Campisi's downtown location to dine al fresco. At least it was pleasant until Allen McRae showed up.
The 65-year-old didn't reveal the source of his beef with the pizza joint. He simply walked up and began hurling obscenities, first at the building's brick facade, then at the four diners on the patio. "I'm looking for a motherfucker to cut up!" he yelled, according to police.
The 50-year-old manager of the restaurant, Terrence O'Brien, stepped outside and told McRae to leave. For a brief moment, it looked as if McRae might comply, taking a few steps away. But then he turned back to the people on the patio.
"I'll cut someone up, motherfuckers," he said. Then, when O'Brien stepped forward to shoo him away, McRae pulled a box cutter from his pocket. "I'll fuck you up white boy," he hissed, threatening the diners once more before leaving.
But the encounter wasn't quite over. O'Brien flagged down a cop car and pointed officers to McRae, who had made his way down the promenade near Campisi's and was walking down Main Street. Officers eventually had to pull their guns to convince him to lie down with his arms out so he could be searched.
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The officers, at O'Brien's request, warned McRae to stay away from Campisi's or be arrested. McRae, however, was unfazed.
"You'll see me again, and I'll blow the whole fucking building up," he told O'Brien. Then, after police had seized his weapon: "They sell box cutters in stores. I'm just going to go buy another one to kill a motherfucker when I get out."
There's good reason for O'Brien to take McRae at his word. In 2010, he stabbed a man several times on St. Paul Street, right next to the Dallas Museum of Art. "Sometimes someone has to die to kill racism," he explained to police at the time, adding that "I have a high-powered rifle with a scope, and I can kill him and leave the country before you finish the investigation," and "I will find out if he is allergic to penicillin and pour it into a cup and give it to him so he dies."
But McRae seem to understand why he was being arrested. "I wasn't threatening nobody but that fat manager," he told police as they were making the short trip to Lew Sterrett, where he's held on a $50,000 bond for aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and retaliation.