Guilty plea from man who threatened teens in McDonald's

Thursday, March 07, 2019

The man who pulled out a pistol while arguing with teenagers at an Eden Prairie McDonald’s pleaded guilty to one count of felony terroristic threats, Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman announced Thursday.

Lloyd Johnson 55, of Eden Prairie, will be sentenced April 29. He is expected to receive a stay of imposition meaning he will be on probation for three years. He also will serve up to 90 days in the county workhouse and be banned from possessing a gun for the rest of his life. A second charge, carrying a pistol without a permit will be dropped at the sentencing.

“We are pleased that Mr. Johnson is taking responsibility for his outrageous behavior,” Freeman said. “Because he has no criminal record, probation is the recommended sentence. Perhaps the best part of the sentence is he can no longer possess a gun, which means we will all be safer.”

At his court hearing Thursday afternoon, Johnson admitted that while arguing with the teens he pulled a semi-automatic handgun from his jacket pocket and held it at his side. He also told the court that he was not making any self-defense claim.

According to the criminal complaint and his testimony in court, Johnson was standing behind two young women on Nov. 19 who were trying to pay for their food with a digital app, but it was not working. Johnson told them to hurry up and then said, “you were probably trying to pay with EBT,” the Electronic Benefit Transfer card used to transfer federal government benefits to stores that accept the benefits.

One of the women turned and answered him. Johnson then approached the other woman, said some things and balled his hand into a fist, making her think he would hit her. The first woman went to the dining area and returned with friends, who began to say things to Johnson.

Store video showed Johnson backing away from the women, then taking out his cell phone and arguing some more. When the friends came from the dining area, Johnson backed away from them before pulling the gun from his right jacket pocket.

Police recovered a STYR M40 semi-automatic handgun from Johnson with a magazine loaded with 10 rounds of ammunition.