Macca’s workers save customer abused by her violent partner
Police have paid tribute to McDonald's staff who saved a female customer who had allegedly been threatened at a restaurant.
On the afternoon of December 24, a woman visited a McDonald's branch in Lodi, California in the US and told a cashier to call emergency services.
The woman also gave the worker the licence number of the car she was travelling in with a male companion and asked the staff member to hide her.
However, after the female customer used the bathroom, suspect Eduardo Valenzuela ordered her to use the restaurant's drive-through to order food instead of ordering from inside the restaurant, and the pair left.
But when their car passed through the drive-through counter, the woman mouthed the words "help me" to another crew member.
Shortly afterwards, police arrived after being called by another employee, and staff directed them to the vehicle.
Taking to Facebook after the incident, the San Joaquin County Sheriff's Office was full of praise for the quick-thinking staff and thanked them for "providing a 'safe place' for abuse and human trafficking victims".
"While in the drive through, she mouthed to an employee, 'HELP ME'. Just then, deputies arrived and spoke with employees inside the restaurant, they rushed them out the door telling them that the woman needing help was in the drive-through line," the Facebook post states.
"The woman was driving her vehicle, with Mr Valenzuela in the passenger seat when deputies ordered her to pull over.
"During the investigation, deputies comforted the shaken woman and discovered that Valenzuela had been violent with her in the past. On this day he told her to take him to visit his family and threatened her life, stating he would use a firearm. A firearm was located in the trunk of the vehicle (stolen out of state)."
Facebook users were also quick to praise the actions of both the McDonald's staff and police officers.
"Amazing employees for believing her and taking action and amazing sheriffs for getting there in time!!!!" one woman wrote, while another said: "Im so glad for the woman that they listened and was aware of the help she was in need of. Not all employees would have done that."
"Great job! You may have just saved this woman's life! I hope she is in a safe place at this moment and getting the help she needs," another posted.
Mr Valenzuela, 35, was held at the San Joaquin County Jail for criminal threats, stolen property, and felon (prohibited person) in possession of a firearm with a $US360,000 ($A515,415) bail.
Meanwhile, a McDonald's spokeswoman told The Sun the manager of the branch had instructed staff to hold up the drive-through line to stall for time as police arrived.
*For 24-hour domestic violence support call the national hotline 1800RESPECT on 1800 737 732 or MensLine on 1800 600 636.