A California woman headed through the drivethrough of a local McDonald’s got more than a side of fries when ordering her lunch, when she mouthed “help me” to a drive-thru employee.
The employee, who got the message loud and clear, called police after the woman gave the McDonald’s worker the license plate to the vehicle and asked the worker to hide her, according to a post from the San Joaquin County Sherrif’s Office.
After a police investigation, police found that the woman was traveling with a man who had a history of abuse, and that the man had earlier threatened the woman with a weapon and forced her to drive the man to see his family for the holidays.
The woman, who went to use the washroom, attempted to make an order at the front desk, though the man she was with stopped her, making her use the drive-thru.
It was there that the woman sent subtle but clear messages to the employee by mouthing the words “help me,” according to police.
Police later arrived and McDonald’s employees helped identify the man, who was later arrested. The man was also in possession of an illegal firearm in his vehicle.
He faces charges including criminal threats, stolen property of a firearm, possession of a firearm by a prohibited person. His bail is set at $360,000.
It was a lucky spot for the woman, too, as the McDonald’s she had selected is a certified Safe Place restaurant, which means they are certified to aid “young people in need of immediate help and safety.”
According to a post on the restaurant’s website, the mission of the safe spaces are to provide locations that young people can go to when they are in need of a secure location. “We are proud of our team for doing their part in being A SAFE PLACE!” said the Golden State McDonald’s in a Facebook post.
“Thank you to our team for handling this appropriately, and to the San Joaquin County Sheriff’s Office Deputies who are constantly serving and protecting our community! We are proud to be in support with both A Safe Place and all of our law enforcement! Thank you for all of the community support and please always be safe and aware!”