Photo: replica gun in question
September 4, 2021 – Santa Barbara County, Ca.
Nobody ever said the service at your local Big Mac emporium was at the five-star level, but when ordering a quick “value” meal, it’s neither legal nor good manners to walk around with what appears to be a semi-automatic handgun stuck in your waistband.
But that bit of civil decorum must not have been part of the education of 21-year-old Lompoc resident Elijah Anthony Palacios, and it was, he apparently chose to ignore it in the early evening of August 31 st . It was at approximately 5:30 p.m., according to Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department Public Information Officer Raquel Zick, when Palacios strolled into a McDonald’s restaurant in the City of Buellton “where he displayed a convincing replica handgun” to patrons and employees.
Employees at the restaurant promptly called 911 to report the incident, and while deputies were enroute to the scene, they learned that their suspect had exited the restaurant and was in the parking lot where he “approached an uninvolved person seated in a nearby vehicle” and attempted to sell narcotics to that individual. Among his sales strategies, witnesses reported that Palacios “lifted his shirt” to reveal the handgun in his possession.
As deputies rolled up to the scene, they made contact with Palacios and promptly took him into custody. He was found to be in possession of a “Glock style replica firearm,” as well as “narcotics paraphernalia and approximately 1.5 grams of suspected fentanyl.”
Palacios was transported to Santa Barbara County Jail, where he was booked on charges of possession of a controlled substance, possession of marcotic paraphernalia, and possession of an imitation firearm in public.
Photo: Courtesy Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department