McDonald’s employee may have saved lives during hostage situation in Lakeland


LAKELAND, Fla. (WFLA) – Victor Morales had just stopped at a Lakeland McDonald’s with his young son and daughter to get breakfast when he noticed something that just didn’t look right.

“I’m always looking around, so I seen two guys come running across like they were running, kind of struck me odd, but they looked young so I didn’t know what was going on. Then I seen the cops come running behind them,” Morales said.

The Hillsborough County Sheriff’s office reports the incident started in Brandon at an apartment complex with the carjacking of a Dodge Charger.

A deputy then spotted the stolen car heading east on I-4 and followed the car to the McDonald’s.

RELATED: Deputies: Suspects in custody after McDonald’s hostage situation

Morales says he was only concerned about the safety of his children when an employee of the store shouted for everyone to get out.

“He saved a lot of people honestly from getting stuck in there. He was on his P’s and Q’s and he was paying attention and wasn’t just selfish and gave everybody a heads up and said we got to get out of here,” said Morales.

Authorities arrested Justin Crumpton, Sedrick Hamilron and Eugene Willis at the McDonald’s.

No one who was held hostage in the store during the incident was injured. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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