Suspect in McDonald’s standoff pulled pipes out of wall, cops say

Gwinnett police Cpl. Michele Pihera details how police made arrest at McDonald’s. Video by John Spink/AJC

As a standoff at a Gwinnett County McDonald’s approached its fourth hour, authorities deployed gas to get the barricaded man to surrender.

Derrick Hall barricaded himself inside a McDonald’s with a knife, prompting a standoff that lasted for about four hours early Tuesday. JOHN SPINK / JSPINK@AJC.COM
Derrick Hall barricaded himself inside a McDonald’s with a knife, prompting a standoff that lasted for about four hours early Tuesday. JOHN SPINK / JSPINK@AJC.COM

Credit: JOHN SPINK / JSPINK@AJC.COM

Credit: JOHN SPINK / JSPINK@AJC.COM

The plan worked and 36-year-old Derrick Hall was taken into custody on charges of terroristic threats and criminal trespass, Gwinnett police said.

Although no one was injured in the incident, the business was damaged and water was left overflowing in the restroom, Gwinnett police Cpl. Michele Pihera said.

“When he was inside the restroom, he was destroying it and pulling pipes out of the wall,” Pihera said.

Derrick Hall (Credit: Gwinnett County Police Department)
Derrick Hall (Credit: Gwinnett County Police Department)

About 4:30 a.m. Tuesday, employees at the Sugarloaf Parkway location in unincorporated Lawrenceville “possibly” saw Hall doing drugs and asked him to leave, police said.

Instead of complying with that request, Hall ran to the bathroom with a knife, according to authorities.

The restaurant was evacuated and SWAT was called.

Hall refused to cooperate with negotiators, prompting officials to deploy the gas, police said. He was taken to a local hospital, then to the Gwinnett County jail.

Hall has been arrested multiple times in the county and was recognized by other officers, Pihera said.

“Officers recalled the ‘John Doe’ warrants and obtained new warrants for Hall,” she said. His motivations were not known.

It was the second recent incident at a metro Atlanta McDonald’s.

A DeKalb County McDonald’s was forced to close after someone tossed a smoke grenade through a drive-thru window on North Druid Hills Road, police said. The restaurant has reopened.

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