Minnesota man charged in confrontation with teens at McDonald's

A Minnesota man faces felony charges of making terroristic threats and carrying a pistol without a permit after police said he pulled a gun on a group of teenagers at a McDonald's restaurant last month, WCCO reported.

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Lloyd E. Johnson, 55, was arrested Nov. 23, four days after an incident at the Eden Prairie fast-food restaurant. The incident, which involved a man and a group of Somali teens, was caught on camera and the video went viral, the television station reported.

Johnson is scheduled to make his first court appearance Jan. 10, the Star Tribune reported.

"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 told the Star Tribune. "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 told police he did make the insult about EBT, Freeman's office told WCCO. He also admitted he did not have a permit to carry a firearm.

Jihan Abdullahi, 17, said she was trying to pay for her order with an app on her smartphone but the clerk was having trouble processing the order, the Star Tribune reported Nov. 19.

“Once we gave up on paying, we just canceled the order,” Abdullahi told the newspaper. “And as (we) are walking away, the man says under his breath, ‘You were paying with EBT (electronic benefit transfer); that’s why it didn’t work.’”

Abdullahi said she asked the man, who was white, "'Just because I'm black you think my friends and I live under EBT?' And he said, 'Yes.'"

A scuffle ensued, and in a 45-second video that went viral, teens are seen yelling at the man, who was shoved near the door to the restaurant. As the man stumbled backward, the teens backed away and several customers shouted that the man had a gun, although it is unclear in the video if a weapon was brandished.

Abdullahi and several of her friends spoke publicly about the incident at a news conference Monday, the Star Tribune reported.

"I was terrified. I thought we were all going to get shot," Abdullahi said.

Johnson’s attorney, Joshua London, issued a statement Tuesday saying that Johnson had 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,” London said in the statement. “We ask that (Johnson) not be judged until all of the evidence has been considered.”

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