Man who threatened teens at Eden Prairie McDonald's pleads guilty

Lloyd Edward Johnson
Lloyd Edward Johnson
Courtesy of Hennepin County Sheriff's Office

The man who allegedly provoked a November confrontation with Somali-American teens at an Eden Prairie McDonald's and then pulled a gun on the teens as the situation escalated has pleaded guilty, prosecutors said Thursday.

Lloyd Edward Johnson, 55, of Eden Prairie was charged with felony terroristic threats as well as carrying a pistol without a permit. He pleaded guilty to one count of felony terroristic threats, the Hennepin County Attorney's Office said in a statement.

He will serve up to 90 days in the county workhouse and be banned from possessing a gun for the rest of his life; he'll also be on probation for three years, prosecutors said.

At his court hearing Thursday, Johnson "admitted that while arguing with the teens, he pulled a semi-automatic handgun from his jacket pocket and held it at his side. He also told the court that he was not making any self-defense claim," the county attorney's office said.

According to the prosecutor's office, two young women told police the confrontation erupted as they were trying to pay for their food with a digital app, but it was not working.

Johnson told them to hurry up and then said, "You were probably trying to pay with EBT," the electronic benefit transfer card used to transfer federal government benefits to stores that accept the benefits.

One of the women turned and answered him. Johnson then approached the other woman, said some things and balled his hand into a fist, making her think he would hit her. The first woman went to the dining area and returned with friends, who began to say things to Johnson.

Store video showed Johnson backing away from the women, then taking out his cellphone and arguing some more. When the friends came from the dining area, Johnson backed away from them before pulling the gun from his right jacket pocket.

Police recovered a Steyr M40 semi-automatic handgun from Johnson with a magazine loaded with 10 rounds of ammunition.

"We are pleased that Mr. Johnson is taking responsibility for his outrageous behavior," Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman said in a statement. "Because he has no criminal record, probation is the recommended sentence. Perhaps the best part of the sentence is he can no longer possess a gun, which means we will all be safer."

Before you keep reading ...

MPR News is made by Members. Gifts from individuals fuel the programs that you and your neighbors rely on. Donate today to power news, analysis, and community conversations for all.