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Man threatens woman in bar, grocery store

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A man threatened a woman twice in one day at two different locations.

On Sept. 5, around 4:30 pm, Gallup Police Officer Cindy Romancito was dispatched to 980 U.S. Hwy. 491, Safeway Supermarket, after a man threatened to kill a woman.

When Romancito arrived at the store she met the business’s security guard. The guard said that a woman had approached him and told him that a man was threatening to kill her.

Romancito was able to speak to the victim, who explained that she works at Third Street Tavern at 510 N. Third St., and that afternoon a man walked into the bar and asked for a cigarette. When he was told that no one in the bar had a cigarette, the man, who was later identified as Aaron Pratt, became upset.

According to the victim, Pratt, 34, from Los Angeles, then began to say that he was going to kill her and the four other occupants of the bar. The victim told him to leave, and Pratt started to do just that, but then he tried to come back inside. The victim said she was able to hold on to the door and lock it.

The victim said she went to the front of the bar to see if Pratt would try to come in that way, but he didn’t. Apparently, the threat of calling the cops had scared him off. A Gallup police officer had gone to the scene around 1 pm.

Pratt did allegedly come back to the bar later that day waving a stick around, but once again when he was told the police were on their way he left.

The victim did see Pratt a third time that day though. After she got off work, she drove to Safeway Supermarket to pick up some food. And Pratt just happened to be at the store too.

As the victim was coming into the store, Pratt appeared with his stick again. Pratt began following the victim around the store, twirling his stick around and threatening to kill her again.

The victim stated that Pratt’s eyes “were looking demonic” as he confronted her. The victim said she was afraid of Pratt, and that she was in fear for her life at the store and at the bar.

The victim said she started heading toward the store’s entrance, and that’s when she saw the security guard and asked for his help.

While Romancito was getting the victim’s statement, fellow officers were searching around the area for Pratt, who the victim described as an African American man with dreadlocks wearing black sweatpants and a white or blue shirt.

Officer Francis Collins was able to locate Pratt near the St. Paul Baptist Church, 1121 W. Lincoln Ave. Romancito was actually near the church when Collins reported that she’d seen Pratt, and she see him standing around with some other people.

According to her report, Romancito saw Pratt holding a long stick, which she believed he used while he was threatening the woman at the grocery store.

The officers approached Pratt, and when he was told that he was being arrested for aggravated assault, he started yelling, but officers were able to put handcuffs on him. His preliminary hearing was scheduled for Sept. 14.

Staff Reports