LODI, Calif. (CNN) – When a woman walked up the counter of a McDonald’s in Lodi, California, the employees likely expected her to order a Big Mac or large fries. Instead, she begged them to help her.
A police investigation would later reveal that she was traveling with a man who had a history of abusing her. That day, he had threatened her with a firearm and demanded that she drive him to see his family.
After using the McDonald’s restroom, deputies with the San Joaquin County Sheriff’s Office say the woman tried to approach the counter again to make an order. But Eduardo Valenzuela the man she was traveling with stopped her and demanded that she use the drive-thru.
“And he said, ‘no you need order through the drive-thru,'” San Joaquin County Sheriff Spokeswoman Andrea Lopez said.
When the woman pulled up to the window Lopez says she mouthed the words “help me” and that’s when the employees took action.
“I think it was just one of those kind of flight or fight type of things. They just took over and didn’t hesitate,” Regina Camera said. “Our manager actually had our employees hold up the drive-thru line so that we were able to stop that car from moving forward.”
As she was in the drive-thru, police arrived and employees quickly pointed them to the woman in her car with Valenzuela in the passenger seat.
Police found a stolen revolver in the trunk of the vehicle and arrested Valenzuela.
“It was such an exciting and proud moment for us to know that what we’re doing is working and that our employees are comfortable handling things like that,” Camera said.
Valenzuela is now facing charges of making criminal threats, possessing stolen property and being a felon in a possession of a firearm.