City News

Downtown food cart closes after employee brandishes assault rifle

The city will vote Tuesday on revoking the vending license for Leia’s Lunchbox, a food cart previously located on the 500 block of North Francis Street.

Image By: Jon Yoon

Leia’s Lunchbox, a late-night food cart previously located downtown, seems to have closed after an employee brandished an automatic rifle outside of the business in October.

“We are open for our last night ever tonight until bartime,” they wrote Saturday on their Facebook page.

Employee Ellis Slaughter, who was also romantically involved with the owner at the time, pointed an assault rifle at two customers on Oct. 8 around 1:40 a.m. outside of the North Francis Street food cart. He also put one of the men in a choke hold before bringing out the weapon, according to a criminal complaint.

Following backlash from local law enforcement, officials and citizens, a city committee proposed last month to revoke the vending license of Leia’s Lunchbox owner Leia Boers.

Ald. Mike Verveer, District 4, said he doesn’t think the vending committee has ever seen this “serious” of an incident before.

“It goes without saying that it was a very scary incident for all those that witnessed it,” Verveer said.

Charlotte Adams, manager of Statesider apartments and the Towers apartments, said she received more than 120 calls and texts from residents and their parents after the incident. Most of those parents were concerned that the food cart was allowed to keep operating, according to Adams. She also said she had to hire extra security afterward.

Although the food cart seems to have already closed, the license will only officially be revoked if the city council votes to do so, likely at a meeting Tuesday night.

Slaughter faces charges of second-degree reckless endangerment — a felony — and use of a dangerous weapon. Boers is charged with obstructing a police officer. 

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