Man seen holding gun to cat’s head during virtual court hearing charged after pointing gun at patrons of George’s in Hewitt

Bryan Bruce has a history of mental health issues and is scheduled for a psychological...
Bryan Bruce has a history of mental health issues and is scheduled for a psychological evaluation.(KWTX GRAPHIC)
Published: Feb. 14, 2023 at 4:56 PM CST
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WACO, Texas (KWTX) - A Speegleville man who held a gun to a cat’s head during a virtual court hearing last week is back in the McLennan County Jail on charges he pointed a gun at patrons of a popular Hewitt restaurant.

Bryan Bruce, 41, who has a history of mental health issues, is scheduled for a psychological evaluation Wednesday morning after his arrest Tuesday on a Class A misdemeanor deadly conduct charge.

Arrest document allege Bruce sat down on a lobby bench at George’s Restaurant and Bar No. 2, 1201 Hewitt Drive, on Jan. 31, pulled a pistol and pointed it at several customers.

“There was no initial report made and the persons who had the gun pointed at them appear unaware of it happening based on the lack of a reaction on video,” an arrest affidavit states. “Video from George’s clearly shows a white male pointing a handgun in the direction of several people, putting them in imminent danger of serious bodily injury.”

According to the affidavit, Kyle Citrano, George’s 2 managing partner, knows Bruce as a former George’s employee, and “was able to calm down Bryan Bruce and prevent any further violence from occurring.”

The incident at George’s happened 10 days before Bruce, who has a felony arson charge pending, was seen holding a pistol to a cat’s head on a remote court hearing broadcast on a large screen in 19th State District Judge Thomas West’s court.

Bruce was logged into the hearing remotely, as was his attorney, Brian Howell.

West asked Bruce why he was holding a 9mm pistol to the cat’s head. Bruce told the judge it was not a 9mm, it was a .45-caliber pistol. He also told the judge that the cat, which could be seen moving on the teleconference monitor, was not a real cat. He said it was a “spy cat.”

“I wouldn’t do that to a real cat,” Bruce said.

West ended the hearing after seeing Bruce’s behavior and conferred with Assistant District Attorney Will Hix and Howell.

Hix filed a motion to find Bruce’s bond insufficient because Bruce is not allowed to possess firearms as a condition of his bail bond.

Howell, in turn, filed a motion to have Bruce undergo a psychological evaluation based on his actions Friday during the hearing.

Howell declined comment Tuesday on Bruce’s latest arrest.

Later Friday, McLennan County sheriff’s deputies performed a “welfare check” on Bruce and took him for temporary commitment to a local mental health facility.

West issued an arrest warrant in the deadly conduct case on Monday and Bruce was arrested and jailed Tuesday. If Waco psychologist Lee Carter determines that Bruce is not competent to stand trial, a hearing will be set and he likely will be ordered to undergo treatment at a state mental facility in an effort for him to regain his competency to face the arson and deadly conduct charges, court officials said.

Bruce is charged with setting a grassy area on fire that spread to a detached garage on his family’s property.