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‘Something didn’t seem right’: Whataburger staff’s tip leads to arrest of accused child predator

michael clark (Texarkana Texas Police Department)

Michael Clark (Texarkana Texas Police Department)

A 79-year-old man in Texas was arrested after the eagle-eyed staff at a local fast food restaurant called police to report that he was dining with a 13-year-old girl and something “didn’t seem right about the situation,” an observation that proved to be true, police said.

Michael Jerome Clark Sr. was taken into custody last week and charged with one count each of soliciting prostitution from an individual under 18 years of age and indecency with a child through sexual contact, jail records reviewed by Law&Crime show.

According to a press release from the Texarkana Texas Police Department, officers at around noon on Tuesday responded to a 911 call at a Whataburger located in the 2700 block of New Boston Road regarding Clark and his juvenile dining companion.

The Whataburger staff told the emergency dispatcher that “a juvenile girl and an older man were there eating together and something didn’t seem right about the situation,” the release states. Upon arriving at the scene, investigators say they spent some time “trying to figure out what was going on” between Clark and the child, but that it soon became obvious that the restaurant staff’s instincts “were spot on.”

“Turns out that the two barely knew each other,” police wrote in the release. “However, the 13-year-old girl told us that 79-year-old Michael Clark offered her money in exchange for sexual favors that day and had inappropriately touched her during a previous encounter a few weeks before. He picked up the girl in his truck as she walked down the street just before they went to the Whataburger that morning.”

Authorities said that after interviewing Clark, the 13-year-old girl, and the Whataburger staff, they were able to obtain a warrant for Clark’s arrest. He was taken into custody on Wednesday.

Clark is currently at the Bi-State Jail in Bowie County where he is being held on $225,000 bond.

In other fast food-related arrests, a 26-year-old Florida woman was taken into custody last week after she allegedly pulled a gun on a McDonald’s employee who informed her that the meal she attempted to order was not on the menu.

The worker asked Young what her problem was and why she was so mad, and in response, Young pulled out a gun, pointed it at the worker, and said “she’ll push her s— back,” according to the arrest report.

Quavi Young was taken into custody on Thursday evening on one count each of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, open carry of a weapon, and driving with a suspended license.

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Jerry Lambe is a journalist at Law&Crime. He is a graduate of Georgetown University and New York Law School and previously worked in financial securities compliance and Civil Rights employment law.