December 03, 2018 06:11 PM
A 55-year-old Eden Prairie man has been charged with making terroristic threats and carrying or possessing a pistol without a permit in a public place in connection to an incident at McDonald's last month in which he allegedly displayed a gun during an altercation with a group of teenagers.
Court records show Lloyd Edward Johnson was charged Monday in Hennepin County. The first charge is a felony. The second is a gross misdemeanor. He is scheduled to be back in court on Jan. 10.
“These teens were racially and religiously profiled by both the gunman and the McDonald’s,” Jaylani Hussein, with the Council on American Islamic Relations said Monday.
The group called for McDonald’s to fire the managers involved at the Eden Prairie location, but to also re-train workers at all McDonald’s restaurants across the country.
“I believe McDonald’s staff would have acted differently if the color of the gunman was black and the teens were white,” Hussein said.
According to the criminal complaint, Eden Prairie police officers were dispatched to the McDonald's on the 500 block of Prairie Center Drive on Nov. 19 on a report that a man had pulled a gun on a group of teenagers, but was no longer on the scene.
Two 17-year-olds reportedly told officers they were trying to use "Apple Pay" to purchase food, but the system wasn't working. They allege a male behind them told them to hurry up, saying "you were probably trying to pay with EBT."
That led to a confrontation. One of the 17-year-olds alleges the man - later identified as Johnson - began balling his fist, "putting her in fear that he was going to hit her."
The complaint goes on to state that the two teens said Johnson walked away, but then returned with his cellphone, appearing to record the argument. They said he then yelled at everyone to back up, pulled a handgun from his waistband and exited the store.
Officers obtained short clips of the incident from cellphones.
According to the complaint, officers later spoke with Johnson who did not have a permit to carry a firearm. He allegedly admitted he had a handgun in his right jacket pocket, and that he felt threatened by the teens and pulled it out so he could leave the restaurant. He reportedly said he did not point the gun at anyone, but may have waved it.
“Anybody could have easily lost their lives that day. Any of my friends,” Jihan Abdulahi said, who is one of the teens prosecutors say Johnson confronted. “And I said to him, just because we are a group of black kids you think we are trying to pay with EBT.”
He also reportedly admitted making the statement about the EBT card, and said "that was an insult, I shouldn't have said that."
“You don’t take your frustrations out by saying pejorative things because they’re kids or perhaps because they are Somali Americans,” Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman said.
The complaint also says officers recovered a semi-automatic handgun in between the two front seats of Johnson's car. It was loaded with 10 rounds of ammunition, but did not have a round in the chamber.
According to the complaint, surveillance footage from the McDonald's, which was finally provided to officers on Nov. 28 after technical difficulties with the system, shows Johnson pull out a gun.
“He took it out and waved it and told them he had a gun and a number of witnesses saw it,” Freeman said.
Freeman said Johnson is not in custody. His next court appearance is scheduled for January.
“Certainly if there are any threats we will arrest him immediately,” Freeman said.
Updated: December 03, 2018 06:11 PM
Created: December 03, 2018 11:43 AM
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