By Associated Press - Thursday, December 15, 2016

WASHINGTON (AP) - The owner of a Washington pizza parlor targeted by an online conspiracy theory says he and his staff were harassed for months leading up to a man firing an assault weapon inside the restaurant.

Comet Ping Pong owner James Alefantis gave his first interview since the incident during an appearance Thursday night on Fox News’ “The Kelly File.”

Edgar Maddison Welch was arrested Dec. 3 when he came to “investigate” fake news stories that Washington insiders were harboring child sex slaves at the restaurant.

Alefantis says social media attacks, including death threats, against him and his staff had been building before the election. He characterized the experience as “like being terrorized.”

He called the conspiracy theories dangerous lies that could happen to anyone but said the community has rallied to support the business.

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