The axe-wielding man who was filmed menacing customers in a New York McDonald’s over the weekend has been released without bail at his arraignment on Sunday, authorities said.
Michael Palacios, 31, was rejected by a young woman moments leading before the incident, a witness has revealed – sending the jilted suspect into a rage.
The incident at the Lower East Side eatery on Delancey Street in Manhattan transpired early Friday at roughly 2:25 am, police said – and saw Bronx resident Palacios arrested for brandishing the weapon.
Palacios was arraigned on fourth-degree criminal-mischief and possession-of-weapons charges, and neither charge is eligible for bail under the state’s relaxed criminal-justice reforms.
He even responded to the incident on Instagram, and said ‘After the 5 minute police chase through the lower East side the NYPD told me “that was fun chase.”‘
‘Traffic was weak and I couldn’t get out of the neighborhood I fell of my bike making a hair pin turn from the street to the sidewalk, landing on my shoulder and dislocating it,’ he continued in the post.
‘They took me to the hospital and than jail. And now I’m out. Some of you want me to go to jail? Already did! Haha. So Have a great day,’ he gloated.
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The incident at the Lower East Side eatery on Delancey Street in Manhattan saw 31-year-old Bronx man Michael Palacios (pictured here during the Friday incident) arrested and charged with criminal mischief, three counts of menacing and criminal possession of a weapon
Footage of the ensuing frenzy showed Palacios threatening customers while swinging the axe, breaking panes of glass and intimidating onlookers, following a verbal disagreement that quickly turned physical
Footage of the ensuing frenzy showed Palacios threatening customers while swinging the axe, breaking panes of glass and intimidating onlookers, following a verbal disagreement that quickly turned physical.
A delivery man who witnessed the fight has since revealed that the altercation began after Palacios, who reportedly had been drinking, was spurned by the unidentified woman after asking for her number in the store moments before.
‘So basically he got into an argument with a girl, and then the girl rejected him,’ Ruben G, an Uber Eats delivery man who witnessed the fight, told The New York Post Sunday.
‘She didn’t want to talk to him,’ Ruben went on to reveal – adding that the woman’s disinterest did little to dissuade the man.
‘He kept going at her,’ the delivery man said. ‘That’s when the guys she was with stepped in.’
The instance described by Ruben roughly describes the moment the widely seen footage begins, in which the several young men are seen attacking the suspect, pushing him up against a garbage can.
The individuals proceed to punch Palacios, the extremely graphic footage shows, who is surprisingly unaffected by the barrage of blows.
Appearing to accept the hits in a show of strength and superiority, a smirking Palacios eventually becomes enraged, producing the axe from a bag he had had on his person.
At this point the other customers grew apologetic – but Palacios, incensed, presses forward, swinging the weapon at them while also threating other diners.
‘They started arguing. It all led to that,’ Ruben recalled, adding that the suspect had asked for theyoung woman’s phone number.
In the footage of the incident, a young woman who appeared to be a part of the customers’ group seemed to stop the burgeoning quarrel, which continued to escalate until police were called.
It is not clear if the woman in the footage is the same person that Ruben is referring to. DailyMail.com reached out to The Manhattan Office of the Deputy Commissioner, Public Information Sunday for more details on the incident.
A dispute at a New York McDonald’s turned physical, with the three men smacking and punching Palacios who stands, apparently unaffected by the assault
Video on social media shows the axe-wielding man going on a rampage inside a McDonald’s on Delancey Street on the Lower East Side
In the footage of the incident, a young woman who appeared to be a part of the customers’ group seemed to stop the burgeoning quarrel, which continued to escalate until police were called. It is not clear if the woman is the same person the delivery man was referring to
‘He was trying to talk to her and whatever. He was asking for her number, where she was from, and I guess she felt some way,’ Ruben said. ‘She replied back in a certain manner that she didn’t want to give too much info and he kept pushing on.’
The delivery worker added that Palacios was visibly ‘drunk’ in the buildup to his blowup, telling the paper ‘I [could] smell the liquor off him.’
Palacios is seen in the footage taking punches from the men before calmly producing the axe from his backpack, which he then begins wielding in the air and threatens those around him.
The three others with whom he had been fighting with quickly run for cover with some hiding in a disabled toilet, while others run to the back of the restaurant in the hope of escaping.
But the aggressor appears to have a score to settle and begins using his axe to destroy furniture causing thousands of dollars of damage.
He is seen throwing the ax down against several of the restaurants tables which are smashed into tiny pieces.
He also slams the axe against a glass panel which shatters immediately on impact, before cornering one of his previous attackers who proceeds to plea for mercy while cowering against a wall.
He then slaps one of the men he was fighting with out of his chair – while menacing other scared diners, at one point shouting, ‘Don’t be afraid of me, be afraid of him!’
After the rampage, Palacios fled the scene on his bike but was picked up a short time later by police on nearby Ludlow Street, the driver said. Police were able to track him down in part because of the widely shared footage of the incident.
Palacios – who social media collectively dubbed ‘the axe man’ upon seeing the footage – was arrested and charged with criminal mischief, three counts of menacing and two counts of criminal possession of a weapon.
Patrons at the branch of McDonald’s cowered as they were threatened by the suspect – who social media users had subbed the ‘axe man’
Palacios can be seen smashing up the furniture of the McDonald’s including a glass panel
Palacios also turned his attention to other diners in the McDonald’s
Palacios could be seen approaching those he was fighting with and threatening them with the axe
The suspect also punched other people, knocking one man off his chair as other patrons looked on
Palacios appeared extremely angry as he threw his axe down hard onto the furniture
The man then takes time to threaten those with whom he had been fighting with earlier shoving the axe in their faces, although not actually hitting any of them with it.
Nevertheless, those who are faced with a madman holding the weapon are understandably scared and attempt to reason with him, urging him to calm down.
‘Bro, please! You better chill!,’ pleaded one man.
Palacios then went over to one woman who appeared stunned shouting ‘Don’t be afraid of me, be afraid of him!’
The anger on display is significant as the axman continues to smash up tables and then punches another of the diners who is sitting at his table with his girlfriend, knocking him to the floor.
Other diners in the restaurant appear to be completely powerless in their attempt to stop him from doing further damage.
Eventually the man feels he has made his point and simply grabs his backpack, his bicycle and walks out of the restaurant.
Incredibly, nobody was hurt in the incident, according to the NYPD.
‘Upon arrival of officers, witnesses at the location reported that the suspect got into a physical dispute with three unknown males inside of the location,’ DCPI said.
‘The suspect removed an ax from his backpack and menaced the unknown males. The suspect intentionally caused property damage to the establishment.
‘The individual was taken into custody by responding officers. A search incident to a lawful arrest, an additional knife was recovered from his backpack.’
Palacios has since been released and has retained an attorney for the impending trail for the charge leveled against him, the Manhattan’s District Attorney’s Office told DailyMail.com.
His attorney, the DA said, is Jamie Niskanen-Singer from Legal Aid. Attempts made by DailyMail.com Sunday to contact Niskanen-Singer were not immediately successful.
It is likely the Palacios will argue he acted in self defense as the incident saw him attacked first.
Palacios then walked out with his axe and bike – as if nothing had happened
Palacios has since been released and has retained an attorney for the impending trail for the charge leveled against him, the Manhattan’s District Attorney’s Office told DailyMail.com. It is likely the suspect will argue he acted in self defense as the incident saw him attacked first
On Saturday, Palacios appeared to be bragging about the encounter on his Instagram, posting a photo of him confidently looking down the customers he was seen threatening moments before whipping out the weapon.
The incident is the latest in a number of violent episodes at New York City’s McDonald’s.
In July, a McDonald’s worker was pepper sprayed in what appeared to be an attempted robbery in Brooklyn.
Last month, a fight over cold french fries led to the shooting of a McDonald’s worker in the Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood of Brooklyn.
The horrific scenes come despite NYC Mayor Eric Adam’s vow to crackdown on crime in the city, which is up nearly 40 percent from last year.
Palacios appeared to be bragging about the encounter on his Instagram on Saturday, pictured a photo he posted of the incident before his rampage
New Yorkers have been growing weary over the latest spike in violence and crimes on the city streets and subways – as well as the widespread looting and physical altercations in many neighborhoods.
Vagrancy has also been on the rise in the city, with Adams ordering wave after wave of officers to take down homeless encampments throughout the city since March.
Parts of the city are said to have become ’24-hour drug and sex dens’ as delinquents take to the streets to deal and do drugs.
In Manhattan’s trendy Chelsea neighborhood, children have allegedly become exposed to nudity, sex acts and drug use while business owners deal with constant break-ins.
Palacios is often pictured with his bike and his backpack on his social media
Palacios is pictured in a photo from his Instagram profile with his bike
Some residents they are begging city officials and the police department to do something.
In May, photos and video of the men lying on Park Avenue between East 115th Street and East 116 Street outside a popular marketplace showed men casually using needles to inject drugs into their arms.
The men were seen sitting underneath the railway surrounded by bags of their belongings and an overturned Citi bike, and photos of the block the following day show even more men shooting up drugs at the site.
The latest incidents come weeks after a thug slashed a stranger in the stomach in an unprovoked attack in Midtown Manhattan.
The assailant, who has not been identified, was walking on 135 West 36 St in New York when he attacked the 34-year-old victim from behind – leaving them with a deep abdominal wound.
Recently, a woman leaving her job at IHOP in the city’s Gramercy area was murdered in an execution-style killing by the father of one of her children.
Imani Armstrong was shot in the heart on a street corner near Union Square.
Clarkson Wilson, 44, was arrested for the heinous crime. He faces murder charges as well as two counts of criminal possession of a weapon.
One man who entered the store with the cart left the Lululemon store filling the basket with clothing
Seven men were pictured at the same spot taking drugs together in East Harlem in May
One of the men removed his shoe so he could inject his foot in order to get high at the small but popular marketplace
Two men were pictured on May 28 taking drugs out in the open in East Harlem’s La Marqueta marketplace
In August, New York City’s most prolific criminal, with 167 arrests on his record, appeared in court after being caught stealing 48 items worth $450 from an Upper East Side Rite Aid.
DailyMail.com cameras were at Manhattan Supreme Court as Jamel Pringle, 39, was notably denied bail for the first time despite New York’s woke bail reform laws.
Police had previously joked that, due to the controversial laws that only offered bail for serious offenses, Pringle had amassed ‘frequent flier miles.’
Pringle has one felony conviction, 88 misdemeanors and another 39 citations for failing to appear in court. The next closest offender in New York City has just 101 arrests.
In February, Pringle was arrested on an early Monday morning for taking 48 items worth over $430 from a Rite Aid on Second Avenue near East 96th Street on New York City’s Upper East Side.
Horrifying surveillance footage shows the victim, 52, crumpling to the floor as he is attacked from behind
And posh stores in the city’s West Village and SoHo have also become rampant with thieves in recent months – including when a gang of seven were recorded calmly walking out of Lululemon with $30,000 worth of gear.
They entered the store on 14th Street and 9th Avenue with empty carts and laundry bags while the guard casually glanced over as they grabbed piles of clothing on August 16.
The brazen robbers, targeting the posh West Village neighborhood, rushed out of the store with their finds – without being apprehended by the security guard.
Store surveillance footage showed the thieves walk in and out the store around noon – looting thousands of dollars worth of merchandise as the seemingly unbothered guard, dressed in a white shirt and black tie, stood by.
But violence is also on the up in NYC.
A warped ‘knockout’ game which sees violent criminals punch strangers for fun is feared to have made a comeback in the crime-ridden city.
Almost 20 of the violent and apparently motive-less knockout game incidents have been reported to the NYPD so far this year, including a Bronx man who almost died after being punched to the ground outside a restaurant.
An unprovoked attack caught on camera on Madison Avenue in Midtown Manhattan’s premier shopping district
The assailant in south Brooklyn’s Kings Plaza Mall plants his left foot and wallops his target squarely in the left cheek
The victim appeared to be knocked out standing and fell to the ground without bracing for impact
Other knockout game victims include a 36 year-old man filmed being knocked out cold after being whacked over the head at a Brooklyn mall, and a 74 year-old woman slapped to the sidewalk in Midtown Manhattan earlier last month.
Most notably, convicted sex offender and reputed ‘Born To Kill’ gang member Bui Van Phu was caught on surveillance video knocking a man out cold in a senseless attack outside a Bronx restaurant.
On August 12, 2022, just before 11 p.m. black and white surveillance camera footage shows Jesus Cortes, 52, standing outside the Fuego Tipico Restaurant on East 188 Street, congregating with family.
Out of nowhere, Phu, who was convicted of a gunpoint rape of a 17-year-old girl in 1994, is seen on the video winding up behind Cortes and slugging him in the side of the head.
Cortes, who never saw the punch coming, crumples to the sidewalk, fracturing his skull. Doctors induced a coma to help with the swelling and after a dicey few weeks, he was finally taken off a respirator.