A disturbing video clip is going viral showing an ax-wielding man as he menaces customers at a New York City McDonald’s on Friday, with the man in question defending his actions and taunting the public as the city’s soft-on-crime policies and bail reform have emboldened criminals citywide.
Michael Palacios, 31, was arrested shortly after the shocking incident, video of which garnered over 14 million views on TikTok before being taken down and recirculated again on Twitter, according to NBC News.
The two-minute long clip shows several incidents, including a series of fights and destruction of property.
Man Arrested After Viral McDonald’s Incident Shows Him Wielding Ax, Assaulting Customer
In the video, Palacios appears to take off his backpack and remove a small ax before smashing a nearby table and shattering a glass barrier. While he does menacingly approach several customers, he does not appear to injure anyone with the weapon.
However, he does punch a patron towards the end of the video and confronts several other customers with the ax. He eventually leaves with his bicycle
Another day in nyc pic.twitter.com/OCOPIkIzuO
— World Latin Honey (@WorldLatinHoney) September 17, 2022
No victims reported any injuries, according to police.
A spokesperson for the NYPD confirmed to NBC’s “Today” show that officers responded around 2:25 a.m. at the McDonald’s on Delancey Street in the Lower East Side of Manhattan.
“Upon arrival of officers, witnesses at the location reported that the suspect got into a physical dispute with three unknown males inside of the location,” the spokesperson said. “The suspect removed an axe from his backpack and menaced the unknown males. The suspect intentionally caused property damage to the establishment. The individual was taken into custody by responding officers.”
Palacios Charged With Criminal Mischief, Menacing, Criminal Possession Of A Weapon, Franchise Owner “Shocked”
Palacios was charged with criminal mischief, three counts of menacing and two counts of criminal possession of a weapon for the ax.
For his part, Palacios released an informal statement to his Instagram page after his release, writing he “just wanted to buy one get one for $1 with a Diet Coke with my man’s e-money when this gang attacked me,” before adding his cash app handle.
“I Just wanted to get a buy one get one for $1 with a diet coke with my man’s e-money when this gang attacked me. @McDonalds. If you want to know what I told the young lady my cash app is $mikesoho”
Palacios went on to say there was a five minute police chase through the Lower East Side before his arrest, which he claims the NYPD said was “fun” and said he fell off his bike during the chase, requiring him to go to a nearby hospital before cops took him to jail.
“After the 5 minute police chase through the lower East side @nypd told me “that was fun chase”. They didn’t hurt me off the bike with their car as they tailed me in circles around Delaney. Traffic was weak and I couldn’t get out of the neighborhood I fell of my bike making a hair pin turn from the street to the sidewalk, landing on my shoulder and dislocating it. They took me to the hospital and than jail. And now I’m out.”
Palacios Takes To Instagram To Defend Ax-Wielding Actions, Says He Was Attacked By A Gang
He took aim at his newly-found viral status and haters, telling them he “already went to jail” for it and offering them to “have a great day.”
“Some of you want me to go to jail? Already did! Haha. So Have a great day. Btw I came out the precinct and the cops gave me props. “dude you went viral!”. Oh word? So if they not that pressed, you mean ol’ people that involve politics in everything but cant pull themselves up from the side of a cliff will get blocked. Also you gun nuts are psychopaths. If I had a gun, I’d use it like an axe.” 😂
Meanwhile, the franchiser owner-operator, Paul Hendel, told the outlet that he was “shocking by these acts of violence committed in our restaurant,” NBC reports.
“The safety of our customers and crew is always our top priority,” McDonald’s restaurant owner-operator Paul Hendel told “TODAY” in a statement. “We are shocked by these acts of violence committed in our restaurant, and we are cooperating fully with the authorities in their investigation.”
Palacios’ lawyer, Jamie Niskanen-Singer, did not immediately offer a comment upon request.
Disturbing Incident Comes Amidst Ongoing NYC Crimewave, Top Cop Blames “Woke” DA For Recidivism
The disturbing incident comes amidst an ever-growing spike in crime in the Big Apple, with many officials pointing their finger at Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg, who’s been criticized for his soft-on-crime policies that have allowed criminals to run rampant throughout the city with impunity.
The latest NYPD figures show overall crime in New York City increasing in July 2022, by 30.5 percent compared with July 2021, with 11,619 incidents vs. 8,906 incidents the same time period in 2021.
Six of the seven major crime categories saw increases as well, driven by a 40.6 percent increase in grand larceny (4,588 v. 3,262), a 37.2 percent increase in robbery (1,730 v. 1,261), and a 25.6 percent rise in burglary (1,325 v. 1,055).
Police Commissioner Keechant L. Sewell said the the “crime increase” is “wholly unacceptable,” and blamed “rampant, revolving-door recidivism” for “eroding the public’s trust in the criminal justice system.”
“We know that any crime increase in our city is wholly unacceptable,” said Police Commissioner Keechant L. Sewell. “Everyone who lives, works, and visits here deserves to be safe, and the members of the NYPD will tolerate nothing less – but we cannot do it alone.”
Police Commissioner Says Criminals “Must Face Real Consequences” After Bail Reform Eliminated Cash Bail For Most Crimes
Sewell added that criminals “must face real consequences,” likely in response to bail reform the city imposed in 2019, which eliminated cash bail for misdemeanors and some felonies, Politico reports.
Palacios, who was arrested on a Friday, was released and a free man by Sunday, according to his Instagram post.
“When violent criminals are willing to carry illegal guns on our streets and brazenly shoot at innocent people, they must face real consequences. And when rampant, revolving-door recidivism erodes the public’s trust in the criminal justice system, we must make efforts to refocus that system on what matters most: the victims. All of us need to be pulling in the same direction, so that we can best deliver on the public-safety promise we make to every New Yorker, every day.”
The recidivism Commissioner Sewell speak of mainly stems from DA Bragg’s soft-on-crime policies.
A month into his tenure as top prosecutor in NYC, Bragg circulated a “Day One” memo to his staff that said the district attorney’s office would not prosecute fare beating, resisting arrest and other nonviolent crimes in an attempt to decriminalize poverty and mental illness and balance fairness and safety, according to ABC News.
He’s since been criticized for allowing criminals to walk freely despite having committed recent and oftentimes violent crimes.