Hatchet-wielding man arrested after viral video captures fight inside Manhattan McDonald's

ByEyewitness News via WABC logo
Tuesday, September 20, 2022
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Michael Palacios, 31, was arrested after a viral video captured him wielding a hatchet during a fight inside a McDonald's in Manhattan's Lower East Side. Kemberly Richardson has the exclusive interview..

LOWER EAST SIDE, Manhattan (WABC) -- A man was arrested after a viral video captured him wielding a hatchet during a fight inside a McDonald's in Manhattan.

The incident happened on Friday just before 2:30 a.m. inside a McDonald's located at 114 Delancey Street on the Lower East Side.

Police say three unidentified men got into a fight with the suspect, 31-year-old Michael Palacios.

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"I waited for them to finish what they were doing, and I just did what I wanted to do," said Palacios.

Palacios says things went south after a security guard ignored his request to use the bathroom.

He maintains that words were exchanged with a customer, then things escalated.

Palacios admits he had been drinking and threw a punch. There was plenty of pushing and shoving with three men.

Video shows Palacios then pull out a hatchet from his backpack before threatening several people and smashing tables and glass.

Palacios says he had been jumped before and had had enough. He calmly pulled that hatchet out and police say he started menacing people, smashed a glass wall and slapped one of his attackers.

"My intention wasn't to hurt anyone. My intentions were not to put anyone in the hospital or dice anyone up. The reason I pulled out the hatchet was, 'OK, I'm going to get back at these guys but make sure they don't jump me again,'" said Palacios.

It is not clear if police are looking for the three men but Michael tells Eyewitness News he is not interested in pressing charges.

Palacios was taken into custody and has been charged with criminal mischief, three counts of menacing and two counts of criminal possession of a weapon.

"They don't need to be in jail to learn a lesson. I hope that the fear they felt that night is enough to never assault someone again," he said.

Palacios says he has a hatchet in his bag and he just feels safer carrying it.

"I'm out there on the road, always getting into it with drivers, which is what the tomahawk is for. It's not for people. It's for trees and vehicles," he adds.

Palacio is charged with, among other things, menacing and criminal mischief.

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