KENNER, La. — A quick-thinking manager was able to evacuate customers and employees from a McDonalds as a man with a machete wrapped in a shirt was acting strangely and creating a scene in the restaurant.
The incident occurred Wednesday at 11:10 a.m. at the McDonalds located at 3013 Loyola Drive.
According to Kenner Police Chief Michael J. Glaser, the suspect, 21-year-old Edward Hayes, entered the business, sat down, didn’t order anything and then left.
A short time later, police said Hayes returned with something wrapped in a shirt, asked for a cup of water and took a seat toward the back of the restaurant.
"It was very frightening," Assistant Manager Latasha Proyer said. "He had something under his arm, wrapped ina green jacket. I said, 'Okay, I'm going to pay attention to it.'"
Proyer began monitoring Hayes and an employee who was cleaning tables near Hayes’ table said they noticed what appeared to be a shotgun handle protruding from under the shirt.
A short time later, employees said Hayes threw his cup of water on the floor and pulled out the blade.
"He grabbed the knife from underneath his jacket and was waving it around!" Proyer said.
She got customers and employees out of the business and called from the back of the restaurant.
"I had like five customers in here and Miss Jackie was hollering 'Miss Tasha he do have the machete!' and I'm like 'Miss Jackie, come to the back, get my customers and get my crew let's get out of here!'" Proyer remembered.
Hayes then ran to the counter and eventually out the door, according to police.
"Just as he was exiting the business, the officer pulled up in the parking lot, drew his weapon and ordered him to drop the weapon and to get on the ground," Lt. Michael Cunningham with the Kenner Police Department said. "Edwards Hayes complied with that."
Chief Glaser credited Proyer's quick thinking with saving lives in that McDonald's.
Police don't know if Hayes intended to rob the restaurant or hurt someone.
Kenner Police Chief Michael J. Glaser urges anyone who has any information about the incident to call the Kenner Police at (504) 712-2222 or Crimestoppers at (504) 822-1111.