Couple kicked out of Starkville KOA share their story
STARKVILLE, Miss. (WCBI)- Monday we brought you the story of a viral video showing a campground employee in Oktibbeha County displaying a gun while telling a couple and their dog to leave the property.
“You can feel the intent behind it. I felt it. I felt the heat from it. I felt it in her eyes. I knew exactly what it was,” said Jessica Richardson.
Richardson said she and her husband were looking to spend the holiday weekend picnicking with their dog, possibly even renting a cabin.
She said they googled a nearby Kampgrounds of America location and decided to drive there — that’s when things took a turn for the worse.
“She jumped out and the gun was pointed at me, my husband, and our dog. It was just pointing at us. One finger was on the trigger and one finger was on the lever of the revolver,” said Richardson.
Richardson said that’s when she pulled out her cellphone. The woman holding the gun identified herself as the property manager, but her choice of words was less than professional.
“She was just like, ‘get, get, you don’t belong here, you don’t belong here, you don’t belong here,'” said Richardson.
Richardson said the confrontation was shocking.
“Time stopped. Everything stopped. I was confused as to what was going on. It’s not like we posed a threat to anybody out there walking our dog. There’s nothing harmful about that,” said Richardson.
“The fact that she used ‘get, get’ like we were a dog. You say get, get to a stray dog that’s on your porch. That ‘get, get’ got to me more than ‘you don’t belong here,'” said Richardson.
On the way out, the couple spoke to another campground employee outside the office who turned out to be the woman’s husband.
“I get out and start talking to him. The first thing he says is ‘Oh, you don’t need a reservation for the lake.’ Then she pulls up flying, hops out the car, then proceeded to yell at my wife ‘get in the car, you need to get back in the car,’ just cussing her out and she’s not even saying anything,” said Richardson.
With signs at the front entrance and two different stories from employees, the Richardsons were confused, horrified and disappointed. The Army National Guard Sergeant recently returned from a nine-month deployment in the Middle East.
“It’s kind of crazy. You go over there and don’t have a gun pointed at you, and you come back home and the first thing that happens is you have a gun pointed at you. It’s kind of crazy to think about,” said Sgt. Franklin Richardson.
We reached out to the corporate KOA office and they released this statement to us:
“Kampgrounds of America does not condone the use of a firearm in any manner on our properties or those owned and operated by our franchisees. The employee involved in the incident has been relieved of her duties at the Starkville KOA.”