LODI, Calif. (KOVR/CNN) - McDonald’s employees helped rescue a woman who told them that she was in danger.
A woman walked into a McDonald’s on Christmas Eve and alerted employees that she was with a man who threatened to kill her. This McDonald’s location is a designated safe place with employees trained to handle emergencies.
“She did come in pretty frantic,” Regina Camera of Golden State Restaurant Group said.
Andrea Lopez, spokeswoman for the San Joaquin County Sheriff’s Office, said the woman was able to provide a license plate number to the employees. She asked for employees to hide her and they urged her to use the restroom.
“I think it was just one of those kind of flight or fight type of things. They just took over and didn’t hesitate,” Camera said.
When the woman came out, deputies with the San Joaquin County Sheriff’s Office say she attempted to place an order at the counter, but Eduardo Valenzuela walked in and demanded she go outside and order.
When the woman pulled up to the window, Lopez says she mouthed the words, “help me," and employees took action.
“Our manager actually had our employees hold up the drive-thru line so that we were able to stop that car from moving forward,” Camera said.
When deputies arrived, they were rushed outside to the car and ordered Valenzuela out of the car. They discovered a loaded, stolen firearm.
The restaurant credits the employees for taking their emergency training seriously.
“It was such an exciting and proud moment for us to know that what we’re doing is working and that our employees are comfortable handling things like that,” Camera said.
Valenzuela was taken to jail and faces charges of making criminal threats, possessing stolen property and being a felon in possession of a firearm.