ALTAMONTE SPRINGS, Fla. - The man accused of holding the manager of the Hungry Howie’s Pizza in Altamonte Springs hostage for more than seven hours on Monday night will remain behind bars.
A judge denied bond for Neal Pittard, 43, who is being held at the Seminole County Jail.
Pittard made his first court appearance by phon. A jail official said Pittard was acting up, and at times, cried to the judge.
When the standoff ended early Tuesday morning, police hauled Pittard out of the Hungry Howie’s on a stretcher.
"It was surprising to see him on the news saying something about a hostage," Joseph K. Garcia said.
He lived upstairs from Pittard for years. Garcia said police were constantly at Pittard’s house responding to domestic situations.
"I don’t think he, he’s not that well off that he’d hurt someone. But, I think he had anger issues," Garcia said.
According to his arrest affidavit, Pittard’s wife called 911 on Monday reporting her husband was suicidal, and he was waiting for her inside a Hungry Howie’s Pizza on State Road 434 just before 6 p.m. on Monday. Investigators said Pittard let one employee go, told a customer to leave, then forced the manager to stay.
Investigators said, at times, Pittard held what they believed to be a gun to the manager’s head at times. Investigators later said the gun was not real, describing it as a water gun covered in electrical tape.
Court records show Pittard has a history of domestic violence involving his wife and other family members.