A 31-year-old man arrested after terrorizing McDonald’s patrons with an ax during a dispute is insisting that he’s “not unhinged” but rather did what “anyone would do” after getting into a physical altercation with strangers.
“I’m not unhinged,” Michael Palacios said in a New York Post interview after he was arrested for an ax-wielding rampage inside a Manhattan McDonald’s over the weekend. “I’m not psychotic. I just did what anybody would do when being pummeled. What would you do? Take out your phone and call 911?”
Video of a shirtless Palacios being pummeled by three men after exchanging words inside the McDonald’s went viral on Saturday in an altercation that resulted in the 31-year-old being charged with criminal mischief, three counts of menacing and two counts of criminal possession of a weapon.
Palacios was released without bail after a short stay in jail after being arrested for the attack thanks to the state’s controversial bail reform law that recently took effect, New York Post reported.
“Everybody’s talking about how I should be in jail,” Palacios said. “I did my 18 hours, bro. What else do you want? Why do I have to be in jail? I’m not going to make it a race thing just because I’m big and Black.”
Palacios dismissed reports that he was upset over a woman rejecting him and claimed the incident started when a security guard denied him entry into the McDonald’s bathroom.
“I’m like, ‘Yo, bro, c’mon. Open the bathroom,'” Palacios explained. “And then I hear, ‘You, you don’t have to be mean about it.’ I’m like, ‘Shut the f— up.’ I didn’t even look back. I just said it, and then it all became, ‘Oh, I’ll slap you.’ I’m like, ‘Where are you gonna slap me?’ And that’s when I came at the guy with the black tank top.”
Palacios continued, “And eventually I just got tired of three dudes backing me up, and I just slapped one of them. It had nothing to do with attacking women. The woman had no issues. I had no issues with the woman.”
Palacios could be seen in the video slapping a man in the face and smashing a glass partition with the ax.
Despite the violent nature of the ax-swinging attack, Palacios suggested to the New York Post that his actions were reasonable given the circumstances.
“I’m not a loose canon,” Palacios said. “I don’t think just because I’m angry and going through some s––, I’m going to hurt other people. … People are saying, ‘Oh, these guys are lucky.’ It had nothing to do with luck.”
Palacios said that the incident actually shows how crime has improved in the city while citing a situation 10 years ago where he said he was hit in the head with a hammer.
“It’s New York City,” Palacios said. “I’ve been here for a long time, and there’s always been crime. I got hit in the head with a hammer at that corner like 10 years ago while I was walking to the store. Some random dude. So, 10 years ago, somebody got hit with a hammer. Today, somebody hit a table with a f–king hatchet. I think things are getting better, if you ask me.”
According to Palacios, the viral video that sent him to jail accused of multiple criminal charges was an example of him showing “composure.”
“I showed composure,” Palacios said. “People just see blankness, but I was thinking. I was processing. You ever download a program and the Apple sign spins? That was me processing.”