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Gun-wielding Applebee's Customer Helps Arrest Man Who Slashed Worker: Cops

Newsweek 1/16/2023 Anders Anglesey

An armed Applebee's customer in upstate New York stopped a man who allegedly sliced an employee's face with a steak knife, according to police.

New Hartford police were alerted to reports of a fight involving a knife and a handgun at an Applebee's on Commercial Drive, at about 6:42 p.m. on Saturday, January 14.

When officers arrived, they learned Esteban F. Padron, 28, from nearby Utica, had entered the restaurant before being asked to leave due to a previous incident where he had allegedly acted disorderly.

Applebee's staff then asked Padron to leave and attempted to escort him out of the restaurant.

A New Hartford Police Department (NHPD) Facebook post shared on Sunday, January 15, read: "While escorting Padron out, he began attacking an Applebee's staff member. Padron was able to run back behind the bar, ultimately grabbing a steak knife and continued fighting with multiple staff members.

"While staff was attempting to gain control of the situation, one staff member suffered a laceration to his face from Padron swinging the knife at him. A second Applebee's staff member involved also sustained a non-life-threatening injury."

Police said an Applebee's customer who was carrying a legally-owned handgun saw Padron had a knife and had attempted to harm people.

The New Hartford police spokesperson added: "This citizen intervened by drawing his handgun and giving Padron commands to stay on the ground and let go of the knife. Padron discarded the knife and stayed on the ground until New Hartford Police Officers arrived on the scene and took Padron into custody."

Padron was later charged with one count of attempted assault in the second degree, a felony, as well as two counts of assault in the third degree and one count of criminal possession of a weapon in the fourth degree, both misdemeanors.

After being charged, Padron was transported to St. Luke's Hospital for an evaluation due to information developed while investigating this incident, per New York's mental health law.

The investigation is ongoing and police will attempt to identify witnesses who saw the incident unfold.

Police have not ruled out further charges being filed against Padron.

According to data collected by New York State officials, there were 282 violent felonies committed in Oneida County in 2021. There were 216 violent felonies recorded in the county in 2020.

The data showed 2021 had the joint-highest reported incidents of violent felonies since 2012, with the same number being recorded in 2017.

Newsweek has contacted Applebee's and the NHPD for comment.

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