The staff at the Flag City McDonald’s in Lodi, California went above and above the call of duty on Christmas Eve about 2:00 PM; they very well may have saved a life.
The woman was in danger when she entered the fast food joint with a man.
She was able to make it to the counter on her own and give the employee—who was undoubtedly shocked—instructions to contact 911 while giving them the license plate number of the car they were riding in. They tried to buy some time by telling her to use the restroom after she urged them to hide her.
When she finally left, she made another attempt to approach the counter, possibly to order something for Eduardo Valenzuela, the person she was with. Instead, he urged her to utilize the drive-thru after stopping her.
She was lucky that the employee had already phoned the police, and that the store manager had instructed staff to reduce the drive-through line at the restaurant so that police could arrive in time to stop the car.
The woman motioned for assistance at the drive-through window once more, mouthing “help me” to a worker. Police arrived in the parking lot shortly after.
They arrived at the restaurant just as the staff informed them that the woman in need of assistance was still waiting outside in line.
When deputies arrived outside, they commanded the automobile to stop. While operating the vehicle, the woman followed instructions.
Then, she was able to inform the authorities that Valenzuela had previously been abusive toward her and that day, he had even threatened to shoot her if she didn’t drive him to see his relatives.
Police discovered a loaded pistol that belonged to Valenzuela during a search of the car’s trunk. He was not permitted to have the weapon or any ammo because he already had a felony conviction.
The deputies then arrested Valenzuela, who was then lodged in the San Joaquin County Jail on charges of making criminal threats, possessing stolen property, and felony firearm possession. His $360,000 bail was imposed.
The woman was fortunate to have stopped at this particular McDonalds, even though we hope the result would have been the same at any location. The Golden State Restaurant Group, which owns it, has designated each of its eateries as a legitimate “Safe Place.”
The Safe Place program is a nationwide initiative for “young people in need of immediate help and safety”; locations can be found in libraries, fire stations, schools, and other establishments. You can identify them by the stickers on their windows and doors.
Because of this accreditation, young people in need can visit these places, and staff members will put them in touch with a youth assistance organization. Employees that have received Safe Place training are undoubtedly alert to anyone in need, regardless of their age.
In the US, there are more than 20,000 Safe Place locations.
Anyone looking for a Safe Place can use this interactive map to find one nearby, or they can text the phrase “safe” and their city, state, or zip code to 4HELP (44357) to get the address of the closest Safe Place and the phone number of a nearby youth organization.
Please scroll down to witness interviews with some of the selfless individuals who helped the needy woman on Christmas Eve.
Please SHARING this with your loved ones.