Review revenge: Diner owner's son shoots customer's home after bad review, deputies say
Son, roommates arrested after Aug. 20 shooting
ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. – Three people have been arrested after an Orlando diner customer's home was shot in a drive-by shooting, officials from the Orange County Sheriff's Office said. No one was injured in the shooting.
Michael Johnson, 41, the son of the owner of Daybreak Diner on Curry Ford Road, was arrested on charges of shooting into an occupied dwelling and abuse of a disabled adult. Johnson's roommates, Jesse Martin, 23, and Norman Auvil, 43, were also arrested. Auvil was arrested Aug. 29 and is accused of actually committing the act of shooting into the home.
The customer who left the negative review lives at the home with her parents. The victim told deputies she launched a negative social media campaign against the diner on Aug. 20 after she said their staff mistreated her mother, who is severely disabled, and denied her service. Police said the campaign resulted in "negative online reviews, negative social media posts and harassing and angry phone calls to the restaurant."
Deputies said Johnson is an employee at the restaurant and is set to inherit it with his girlfriend. The same night as the social media campaign began, Johnson, Martin and Auvil found the victim's address online after drinking at home, according to Johnson's arrest warrant. The warrant states that the three were angry about the damage the campaign did to the diner's reputation.
Johnson, Martin and Auvil took Johnson's 2013, white Ford Flex to the victim's Orlando home with the intent to physically fight someone or to slash the family's vehicle's tires, officials said. When they stopped in front of the home, Auvil, who was in the passenger seat, fired three rounds from his handgun at the house before the group drove away, deputies said.
The Ford Flex matched the description of the shooting suspect's car from nearby surveillance video. The car was found at Johnson's girlfriend's parents' home in Port Orange on Aug. 28, where deputies said Johnson and his girlfriend moved it once they learned it was being sought in the investigation.
Authorities said they searched the home that all three suspects live in on Aug. 29. Deputies said they found the box and bullets consistent with the handgun used in the shooting in the home. Deputies said they were not able to locate the gun and that Auvil would not tell them where it was.
Officials said Johnson and Martin did not try to stop Auvil from shooting at the home or report Auvil's actions to law enforcement and helped him dispose of evidence. Johnson also knew the victim's mother because she was a frequent customer at the diner and knew of her disabilities, according to authorities.
Monica Walley told News 6 she made the social media post after her mother shared with her what happened.
"I still can't believe this is the world we live in, where people are willing to shoot up somebody's house and kill for a bad restaurant review," Walley said. "I told her I'm going to take to social media. I'm going to tell everybody about how you treated my mom today."
Walley said one of the bullets narrowly missed striking her father.
"If I sit down here, as you can tell, it barely missed him. He was sitting back, thank God, because had he not, he would have (been) shot in the head," Walley said.
Walley said her mother will never visit the restaurant again.
"I never thought my review would turn into this," Walley said.
Auvil is in custody at the Orange County Jail, while Martin and Johnson bonded out Wednesday. The conditions of Martin's and Johnson's bond keep them from contacting each other or the victims and from returning to their home.
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