A clerk, Abhishek Dubey, is accused of locking an 11-year-old African-American boy, Dylan Curate, inside the Big Brother Grocery store in Atlanta and holding him at gunpoint on July 16 (video below).
"I was extremely saddened and disheartened by it," the boy's mom, Deangela Terriquez-Curate, told WSB-TV.
"He didn't do anything wrong, he just came to the store," Terriquez-Curate added.
According to a police report, Dubey thought Dylan was going to steal something.
Dubey told the police that Dylan walked around, went to the store exit and said, "Hey! Hold the door," notes The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
The police report added: "In the past, Mr. Dubey advised that young kids had come to the store and stole multiple items by having one person hold the door while several others rush in to steal."
After allegedly pulling the gun, Dubey reportedly told Dylan to leave and unlocked the door.
Dylan went home, told his mother what happened and she called the police.
Dubey was charged with aggravated assault after police watched a surveillance store video; the police didn't see Dylan steal anything on the video.
Atul Dwibedi, who also works at the store, told WSB-TV: "It was a mistake, but it was a toy gun. It wasn't a real gun."
According to police, the weapon was an unloaded and broken .22-caliber handgun.
Dwibedi showed the news station part of the surveillance video where Dylan was trying to get out of the store when the door was locked, but Dwibedi wouldn't show the part where Dubey allegedly pulled the gun.
Store employees insisted the boy shouldn't have been in the store at 1:30 a.m., but Terriquez-Curate said her son was there with relatives.
"He was literally kidnapped because that door was blocked," Nicole Borden, of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, said.
"His siblings was trying to get to him," Borden added. "That is very, very terrifying."
Dubey was released from jail on July 18 after he posted $15,000 bail.
Sources: WSB-TV, Atlanta Journal Constitution / Photo credit: Fulton County Sheriff’s Office via Atlanta Journal Constitution