The Kanawha County Sheriff’s Office said the victim walked into the restroom, and employee Richard Thornton allegedly followed him, took his wallet, "cut him multiple times in the face with the knife, and stabbed him in the neck."
The suspect reportedly left the bathroom and walked out of the restaurant. Fellow patrons at the McDonald’s found the injured victim. He was transported to a nearby hospital with "serious facial injuries" and stab wounds.
A deputy eventually located Thornton, who was reportedly still carrying the victim’s wallet and a bloody fixed-blade knife. He was arrested for first-degree robbery with a deadly weapon and malicious wounding.
WOWK-TV reports Elkview McDonald’s owner John Ebert released a statement saying he was "extremely disturbed by this behavior" but felt "grateful to those employees who took action and called for medical assistance."
He wrote, "My organization has no tolerance for violence of any kind. We took swift action, and I can confirm this individual is no longer employed by my organization. We are fully cooperating with the Kanawha County Sheriff’s Office in their investigation."
This isn’t Thornton’s first brush with the law.
On Sept. 28, 2019, Kanawha County deputies received a call about a man "on the side of the road behaving like someone under the influence of drugs or alcohol."
The man, Thornton, reportedly told deputies he had taken methamphetamine and bath salts. Officials called for an ambulance, and paramedics "deemed it necessary to transport the man to an area hospital for treatment."
Thornton reportedly tried to free himself from the gurney, and at one point, reportedly took a knife out of his back pocket and tried to stab one of the paramedics. The paramedic driving the ambulance reportedly stopped the vehicle and they jumped out. Thornton allegedly chased them on the interstate.
One medic reportedly ran up a hill, but Thornton reportedly continued running after the other one. At one point, Thornton reportedly "abandoned the chase," and deputies located him at a convenience store nearby. He was arrested and charged with two counts of attempted murder.
According to WOWT, Thornton entered a plea deal for those charges and reportedly said he would receive mental health treatment.
He’s currently in custody at the Kanawha County Jail being held on $100,000 cash bond.