You should have been waving around your bling moron
TAMPA – The gun was anything but a prop at a University of South Florida talent show Thursday evening, when a contestant brandished a loaded .357 Magnum at a crowd outside the hall, according to USF police.
The man had performed at the Phi Beta Sigma fraternity’s Blu Pollo talent show, said University police spokeswoman Meg Ross.
Afterward, people told police he had been waving a gun at some 100 people gathered outside Russell M. Cooper Hall around 10:30 p.m., she said.
Ross identified the man as David Joseph Thornton, 26, of 2813 Morgan St., Tampa, and said he was not a USF student.
Police said about 350 to 400 people attended the show. Morgan Byron, a junior at USF, was among them. She said she didn’t see the gun incident. But she did see Thornton’s performance, and the aftermath.
A rapper, Thornton acted like a “sore loser,” she said, when the audience booed him off stage in the style of the talent shows at Harlem’s famed Apollo Theater.
Thornton had come with an entourage of about 15, Byron said. He left, but came back into the auditorium and was smoking inside, she said.
Some fraternity members tried to kick him out, but he and several others resisted, she said, delaying the show’s planned after-party. Show organizers decided to cut short the lineup and move the audience outside.
Police then responded to reports of someone with a pistol outside the building.
Thornton fled to his car, police said, where he was apprehended at gunpoint. Officers found the loaded pistol, which they learned had been stolen, sticking out from under the driver’s seat.
Thornton was charged with aggravated assault, possession of a firearm on school property, grand theft of a firearm, carrying a concealed weapon and improper display of a firearm, according to police reports.
He was released on $7,000 bail.
“There’s never been a problem like that,” said Byron, who has attended every Blu Pollo since her freshman year. “The Sigmas give a lot of opportunities to people. I think it’s a good event.”
Thornton, previously arrested on charges of marijuana possession and driving without a valid license, did not return calls for comment.
Markus Jerrell Raines, 22, who lists the same address as Thornton, was in the passenger seat of the car. Police arrested him on misdemeanor charges of marijuana possession. He is not a USF student, police said.
Records show that Raines had been previously arrested on charges of burglary and grand theft.
He was released on $500 bail.