EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. (KMSP) - An Eden Prairie, Minnesota man was charged Monday for allegedly pulling a gun on a group of teenagers at McDonald’s last month.
Lloyd Edward Johnson, 55, is charged with making terroristic threats, a felony and carrying a pistol without a permit, a gross misdemeanor.
On Nov. 19, officers responded to the McDonald’s on Prairie Center Drive. According to the criminal complaint, police spoke to two 17-year-old girls who said they were trying to use a digital app to purchase their food, but it was not working.
Johnson was in line behind the girls and started complaining, telling them to hurry up. He reportedly said, “You were probably trying to pay with EBT.” One of the girls turned around and confronted him about his statement.
Johnson then approached one of the girls and got in her face, the charges say. The victim said he balled his fist and she was afraid he was going to hit her.
The girls went to the dining room area to ask for help from other friends that were in the restaurant. The friends confronted Johnson, who walked away from the group, but then returned with his cell phone and appeared to be recording the argument.
One of the girls reported that Johnson yelled at everyone to back up before pulling a handgun from his waistband and leaving the restaurant.
McDonald’s surveillance footage and cell phone video showed Johnson pulling a gun out of his jacket pocket.
In an interview with police, Johnson said he felt threatened by the group and pulled his handgun out so he could leave the restaurant. He admitted to making a statement about one of the girls using an EBT card and that is was insulting. He also admitted he did not have a permit to carry a firearm.
Officers recovered a semi-automatic handgun from Johnson’s car. The gun had a magazine loaded with 10 rounds of ammunition, but did not have a round in the chamber.
“Mr. Johnson did everything he could to provoke this incident, by insulting the young lady in front of him, to confronting a second person and finally pulling a gun after he already had moved away from the confrontation,” Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman said in a statement. “While he is innocent until proven guilty, this is outrageous behavior and it is only through sheer luck that no one was injured by his actions.”
Johnson was charged by summons and is not currently in custody.
An attorney representing Johnson released the following statement:
"Mr. Johnson has been greatly affected by the incident on November 19th and the unfair public depiction of his actions and motives. There is a good deal of evidence in this case beyond the video posted online and we look forward to having an opportunity to view all the evidence. Mr. Johnson will put his faith in the courts and his right to due process. We ask that he not be judged until all of the evidence has been considered. We are confident the evidence will show he acted in self-defense. We ask that the public and media respect Mr. Johnson's privacy as this case unfolds."
An employee at the McDonald's is also longer working there according to a statement from McDonald's owner and operator Paul Ostergaard:
“This incident is not a reflection of the values that we instill in our employees, and we work hard to maintain a positive experience for all of our customers and employees so everyone is valued and accepted. I can confirm that this individual is no longer employed by my organization.”