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Pocatello man gets probation for pointing gun at restaurant staff while refusing to pay

Crime Watch

POCATELLO — A man has been placed on probation after pleading guilty to pointing a gun at a local restaurant’s waitstaff.

Matthew James Carrizoza, 32, was sentenced to five years of felony probation with a 120-day discretionary jail term by District Judge Rick Carnaroli. A prison sentence of three to five years was suspended, court records show.

The sentence came after Carrizoza pleaded guilty to aggravated assault as part of a plea agreement.

RELATED | Man accused of refusing to pay lunch bill facing assault, theft charges

Carrizoza was arrested in March after he was accused of refusing to pay for his meal then pointing a handgun at two employees before leaving.

He ordered food, a restaurant server told police, then complained that the food was not made to his liking. When the server returned to check on him, Carrizoza had left the restaurant but forgotten his cell phone at the table.

When he returned to retrieve his phone, the server and another employee confronted him and told him to pay for his food.

Carrizoza refused and pulled a semiautomatic handgun, pointing it at both employees.

He was arrested a short time later and charged with two counts of felony aggravated assault, one misdemeanor charge for petty theft and a deadly weapon enhancement.

As part of a plea agreement, Carrizoza agreed to plead guilty to one of the aggravated assault charges in exchange for the dismissal of all other charges.

Along with the probation period, he was ordered to pay $970.50.

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