Ax­e­man at­tacks cus­tomer queu­ing at drive-thru

Irish Independent - - News - Laura Lynott

A MAN was chased with an axe as he waited at a McDon­ald’s, while shocked on­look­ers thought the in­ci­dent was a Hal­loween prank.

The male vic­tim was un­der­stood to have been wait­ing in his van at the drive-thru on Church Road, Tul­lam­ore, Co Of­faly, when a bal­a­clava-clad at­tacker bran­dish­ing an axe ran to­wards the ve­hi­cle.

The driver jumped out of the van and fled around the other side of the fast-food restau­rant with the at­tacker chas­ing him.

Staff and cus­tomers are be­lieved to have thought the in­ci­dent was a Hal­loween prank at first. But they be­came con­cerned when the driver didn’t re­turn to the van and cars were backed up at the drive-thru.

Gar­daí ar­rived shortly af­ter the Sun­day evening in­ci­dent that led to the vic­tim be­ing hos­pi­talised briefly.

Of­fi­cers are ex­am­in­ing CCTV footage from the area and made a pub­lic ap­peal for help.

A fe­male shop worker, an eye­wit­ness to the scene just mo­ments af­ter the at­tack, said: “I was leav­ing work when I saw Garda cars at McDon­ald’s. A garda was talk­ing to a man, he looked shaken up.

“I’m shocked to know what hap­pened be­cause that’s a fam­ily restau­rant and there would have been kids around on a Sun­day.

“There are lots of ru­mours go­ing round on­line about what hap­pened, but I can’t say what is true from what’s not – all I do know is it’s wor­ry­ing to know this hap­pened in such a busy place.”

An on­looker, who was in­side the restau­rant at the time, said: “It was dark, all you could see was a man run up to the van, the driver jump out and then the guy with an axe chase him round the back of McDon­ald’s, but I thought it was a Hal­loween stunt.

“Mo­ments later the guards were here, so I re­alised it was more se­ri­ous. I’m glad I stayed in­side and I hope who­ever did this is caught be­cause if the guards hadn’t got here as quick as they did, it could have been much worse.”

Com­mo­tion

Fianna Fáil coun­cil­lor for Tul­lam­ore Frank Moran said: “It’s ter­ri­ble for this to go on in this day and age. I don’t have de­tails about what hap­pened, but I am re­lieved to hear no one was se­ri­ously hurt in this in­ci­dent.”

A shop worker who was nearby at the time of the in­ci­dent only re­alised some­thing was wrong when she went on­line af­ter her shift.

“McDon­ald’s is right be­side the shop where I work but we didn’t see any com­mo­tion so it must have been dealt with pretty quickly, so that’s some­thing we have to be thank­ful for and the guards did a good job in get­ting here so fast,” she said.

The at­tack took place be­tween 5.55pm and 6.15pm on Sun­day and of­fi­cers from the Laois/Of­faly di­vi­sion are in­ves­ti­gat­ing.

Any­one with in­for­ma­tion should con­tact Tul­lam­ore Garda sta­tion on 057 932 7600.

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