Man accused of threatening to kill Lawrence County store clerk who refused his marriage proposal

LAWRENCE COUNTY, Tenn. (WKRN) — Tension filled a Lawrence County store Wednesday morning after an armed man asked a teenage store clerk to marry him. When she turned him down, he allegedly made serious threats.

The 911 call came in on Wednesday, May 1 from frightened clerks at the Bonnertown Store near the Alabama state line in the southern part of Lawrence County.

Members of the Loretto Police Department were first on the scene and took Dustin Brian Burgett into custody without incident.

Body camera footage from Lawrence County deputies shows the scene and the 26-year-old Alabama man in cuffs on the pavement.

While deputies searched Burgett, you can hear him say, “The wedding band’s in my chest pocket there. I don’t mean no wrong.”

According to Lawrence County Sheriff John Myers, the suspect came into the store on Tuesday, April 30 and bought some items. Then, Burgett reportedly returned early Wednesday morning and asked the 19-year-old store clerk to marry him.

“She proceeds to tell this guy, ‘Hey look, I’ve got a boyfriend and I’ve got a family and I’m not interested,'” Myers said.

While the young clerk and her female coworker were sitting outside, Burgett drove back in his flatbed truck, got out, and approached the women. According to Myers, Burgett had his hand behind his back.

“He gets out of his truck and he’s got one of his hands behind his back. That automatically puts the clerks on alert. Behind his back is a bouquet of flowers, and he asks this girl again to marry him and she tells him again, ‘No. I mean, I’ve got a family, I’ve got a boyfriend, I’m not interested,'” the sheriff explained. “That’s when he pulls a knife from the front of his overalls and makes a statement to the store clerks that if he doesn’t get married today by somebody, somebody’s going to die, as he’s looking and pointing this knife at this 19-year-old store clerk.”

Frightened and shock, the women ran back into the store and locked themselves in the bathroom, calling 911.