Half-naked man dies after erratic rampage at Whataburger, police say

A man is dead after an outburst at a Houston Whataburger Nov. 22, 2018.
A man is dead after an outburst at a Houston Whataburger Nov. 22, 2018. (KPRC)

HOUSTON – Houston police are investigating surveillance and body camera video after a half-naked man died while in custody following a rampage at a Whataburger in southwest Houston.

According to authorities, the man, identified as Kent Griffin, entered the fast-food restaurant on the 9500 block of Bissonnet Street around 9:15 p.m. wearing only a T-shirt. Authorities said Griffin was experiencing mental issues and started throwing things around.

Police said Griffin, 56, started acting erratically.

“He was destroying property inside the Whataburger restaurant," said Assistant Chief Larry Satterwhite with HPD Homeland Security. "He was grabbing garbage cans and throwing them around, grabbing chairs and throwing them and knocking them down, jumped up on the counter.”

Employees called authorities and tried to run away, but Griffin chased them out, police said.

Griffin assaulted the manager before two other employees were able to get him off her and he ran away, police said.

“The male chased them out, attacked a female who’s a manager of the restaurant, knocked her to the ground and started assaulting her," Satterwhite said. "The other employees managed to knock him off of them and then the male ran off.”

When officers arrived, they arrestedGriffin after a struggle, but as they were transporting him to the squad car, he collapsed and became unresponsive, police said.

Griffin was transported to a hospital, where he died.

Police said Griffin had a 2-inch laceration on his side, but they are not sure if that led to his death. They are hoping the video footage can help in finding a cause of death.

The manager had a minor injury to her knee, but she was walking after the incident and is expected to be OK.

The cause of death and manner of death are still pending, according to the medical examiner's office.

Court records show Griffin has a criminal history dating back to 2010.

About the Authors:

Daniela Sternitzky-Di Napoli has been a digital news editor at KPRC 2 since 2018. She is a published poet and has background in creative writing and journalism. Daniela has covered events like Hurricane Harvey and the Astros World Series win. In her spare time, Daniela is an avid reader and loves to spend time with her two miniature dachshunds.