The man who made headlines earlier this week for brandishing an axe at a Lower East Side McDonald’s is speaking out, claiming he’s “not unhinged” and insisting 18 hours in jail was ample punishment for his crime.
Michael Palacios, 31, discussed how his weapon of choice, which he called a “tomahawk,” was less dangerous than a gun and, therefore, should be acceptable in public.
“Think about it. If you only think that the thing you can protect yourself with is a gun, we’re all going to go to f***ing jail,” he said. “With a hatchet, I have my options — throw it or just smash a f***ing table. With a gun, all you do is shoot,” Palacios said in his defense, per The New York Post.
“I’m not unhinged,” the axe-wielding man promised. He was released without bail thanks to the state’s bail reform laws and sees himself as entirely justified in what he did.
“I’m not psychotic. I just did what anybody would do when being pummeled,” Palacios continued while explaining that he acted in self-defense. “What would you do? Take out your phone and call 911?”
Palacios also said if he intended to hurt others, he would have.
“I’m not a loose cannon,” he continued. “I don’t think just because I’m angry and going through some s*** I’m going to hurt other people. … People are saying, ‘Oh, these guys are lucky.’ It had nothing to do with luck. It’s not luck that they didn’t get chopped up. I didn’t chop them up because I didn’t want to.”
“Everybody’s talking about how I should be in jail,” he said. “I did my 18 hours, bro. What else do you want? Why do I have to be in jail? I’m not going to make it a race thing just because I’m big and black.”
“My intentions were not to hurt anyone,” he said again.
Next, Palacios recalled an incident where he was injured, which he says is proof that crime in the city is less serious than it was a decade ago.
“It’s New York City,” he said. “I’ve been here for a long time, and there’s always been crime. I got hit in the head with a hammer at that corner like 10 years ago while I was walking to the store. Some random dude.”
“So, 10 years ago somebody got hit with a hammer. Today, somebody hit a table with a f***ing hatchet. I think things are getting better if you ask me.”
Witnesses claimed that Palacios became enraged after getting rejected by a woman he approached, but he claims the altercation happened when a patron began arguing with him after he was denied access to the restaurant bathroom.
“I’m like, ‘Yo, bro, c’mon. Open the bathroom,’” he said. “And then I hear, ‘You, you don’t have to be mean about it.’ I’m like, ‘Shut the f*** up.’ I didn’t even look back. I just said it, and then it all became, ‘Oh, I’ll slap you.’ I’m like, ‘Where are you gonna slap me?’ And that’s when I came at the guy with the black tank top.”
“And eventually I just got tired of three dudes backing me up, and I just slapped one of them. It had nothing to do with attacking women,” Palacios continued. “The woman had no issues. I had no issues with the woman.”
“I showed composure. People just see blankness, but I was thinking,” he said of wielding the axe as frightened people were filming. “I was processing. You ever download a program and the Apple sign spins? That was me processing.”
“I wanted to intimidate them,” he said of the incident. “Also, I wanted to show them that the hatchet was real. It’s not a toy.”
Palacios also told The Post he had lost his job earlier that day and was having “a tough day overall.”