The nation was on edge over the past few days as a multi-state manhunt was on for Steve Stephens following his savage murder of a 74-year-old Cleveland man. After eluding authorities for several days, in the end, it was a craving for a 20-piece McNuggets and a large order of fries at McDonalds that would be the man’s doing.
The Associated Press reports that the hero of the story that most people have missed is the cashier at McDonalds who recognized the suspect and called 911. But in order to keep the killer there until police could arrive is when the store owner, Thomas DuCharme Jr. and supervisor came up with a plan to stall Stephens, by telling him that his french fry order would be delayed.
The store owner relayed to Erie News Now how he and another manager approached the drive-thru window to inform Stephens that his fries were not yet ready and that he’d have to wait a few minutes. The tactic worked for a period of time, but eventually the killer became nervous uttering his final words, “I have to go.”
“Hats off to my crew and managers who work here,” Ducharme said. “I’m just so proud of how they handled everything.” Stephens drove off without his fries and, according to Ducharme, was stopped by police not far from the restaurant. It was then that the murderer shot and killed himself.
Even though the killer drove away, it was enough of a tip for authorities to hone in on the killer’s location. Cleveland Police Chief Calvin D. Williams told reporters that he wished they could’ve captured Stephens alive, but was grateful for what the McDonalds workers did that day.
“We prefer it had not ended this way,” he said. “This started with one tragedy and ended with another person taking his own life.” However, this coward taking hos own life saved the taxpayers a lot of money.
The mayor of Cleveland, Mayor Frank Jackson says the McDonald’s employees are heroes, and said that they should receive the reward that was previously offered to bring Stephens in.
“There is an award up to $50,000 for the arrest of Mr. Steve Stephens. The money comes from the FBI, ATF and U.S. Marshal Service,” Jackson said.
What incredible irony that platform of social media that this killer used to traumatize the victim’s family and all of America by live-broadcasting the murder Robert Godwin would then be the very same tool in the end that brought him down. Had it not been for the power of social media being able to exponentially blast this idiot’s ugly mug across the internet alerting everyone to be on the lookout, this killer could very well still be on the run. Mad kudos to these fast-thinking McDonald’s employees. Hopefully authorities will keep their end of the bargain and give the $50,000 reward that was promised.
H/T [NY Times, Erie News Now]