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Man arrested after making bomb threat to South Side restaurant to avoid bill, police say

PITTSBURGH — A Pittsburgh man is facing charges after police say he made up a bomb threat to try to get out of paying his bill at Primanti Brothers.

Barry Clapperton, 40, is charged with threats to use weapons of mass destruction, public drunkenness, false identification to police, terroristic threats and escape.

Kenneth Gray, who was visiting from Jacksonville,witnessed the scene while at the Primanti Brothers on East Carson Street.


He says he watched Clapperton try to run out on the bar tab twice before police arrived.

"My friend Chris gets up and he chases him out the door and we go out that way, catch him and walk him back in," Gray said.

He said he and his friend even offered to pay the bill, but police had to get involved.

A friend eventually paid for Clapperton.

Police said they heard Clapperton call in a bomb threat to Nakama, a restaurant a few blocks down the street.

"His tab is paid. They get ready to let him go and the bomb threat comes in and he takes off!,” Gray said.

Police and witnesses said it didn't end there. They allege Clapperton ran out of Primantis, across the street and down 19th Street, eventually getting to a point right in front of dumpsters, where police shocked him with a stun gun and arrested him.

Police said Clapperton told officers his friend advised him to call in the bomb threat to create a distraction.

A witness said what really irked him was Clapperton got double meat on his sandwich, despite not having the cash for it.

Clapperton is unable to post bond.