'I’m not unhinged': NYC ax-wielder Michael Palacios who terrorized McDonald's reveals why he prefers tomahawk to gun
MANHATTAN, NEW YORK CITY: A man who went on an ax-wielding rampage at a Lower East Side McDonald's on September 16 has said he is “not unhinged” by what he did, and only did what anyone else would have done in such a situation. Michael Palacios, 31, said his rampage was meant to scare the McDonald’s patrons who allegedly punched him during an altercation on Friday. He went on to explain why he prefers his “tomahawk” to a gun.
“Think about it. If you only think that the thing you can protect yourself with is a gun, we’re all going to go to f–king jail,” he said, according to New York Post. “With a hatchet, I have my options — throw it or just smash a f–king table. With a gun. all you do is shoot." “I’m not unhinged,” Palacios added. he has been released without bail under to the state’s controversial bail-reform laws.
“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?" he said. He added, "I’m not a loose canon. I don’t think just because I’m angry and going through some s–t I’m going to hurt other people. … People are saying, ‘Oh, these guys are lucky.’ It had nothing to do with luck. It’s not luck that they didn’t get chopped up. I didn’t chop them up because I didn’t want to."
“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."
“It’s New York City,” he added. “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 hatchest. I think things are getting better if you ask me.”
Cellphone footage from the inident inside the Delancey Street fast-food eatery, captured by an Uber Eats driver, shows Palacios trying to converse with a woman. The driver said Palacios' anger stemmed from the woman apparently "rejecting" him. Palacios, however, claimed it started after a security guard at the eatery did not let him use the bathroom.
“I’m like, ‘Yo, bro, c’mon. Open the bathroom,'” he said. “And then I hear, ‘You, you don’t have to be mean about it.’ I’m like, ‘Shut the f–k 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."
“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,” he said. “The woman had no issues. I had no issues with the woman.” The video shows that three patrons jumped him and began punching him.
“I showed composure. People just see blankness, but I was thinking,” Palacios said. “I was processing. You ever download a program and the Apple sign spins? That was me processing.” This is when Palacios pulled out an ax and began his rampage. “I wanted to intimidate them,” he said. “Also, I wanted to show them that the hatchet was real. It’s not a toy."
“Nobody trains for this,” he said. “The average person doesn’t train to fight off three people. I’m just lucky, I guess, that I drink enough water, and I do enough pushups to fend off three young adults. I’m just a regular guy. No military training.”
According to Palacios, he told the woman during the rampage, "Don’t be hanging out with punk ass dudes because they’re going to get you into problems like this." “And after that, I shook her hand,” he added. “I understood it was a very intense situation, a lot of drama going on.”
Palacios said he was already upset as he lost his job at a local brewery earlier in the day “for tardiness". He called it a “a tough day overall". He said he had ax in his backpack because he enjoys camping and needs it to protect himself after getting attacked in the past. “I got jumped once in Chicago, and I told myself I was never going to let that s–t happen again,” he said. “Honestly, I just randomly picked it up at Home Depot a couple of weeks ago. It was still in my bag.”
After the incident, Palacios was arrested by cops nearby on Ludlow Street. He was arraigned on charges of criminal mischief and weapons possession and later released without bail, according to Manhattan prosecutors.