McDonald's employees help save a Beaufort Marine's life - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

McDonald's employees help save a Beaufort Marine's life

By Jaime Dailey bio | email

BEAUFORT, SC (WTOC) - A Beaufort Marine is lucky to be alive after he was kidnapped in the parking lot of the Walmart store in Beaufort during the middle of the day.

Luckily he wasn't injured during the ordeal, thanks in part to his quick thinking and help from employees at the local McDonald's Restaurant.

Lance Cpl. Richard Grimes is back at work at Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort and glad of it. Last week, he experienced one of the most frightening moments of his life.

It happened in the Walmart parking lot last Friday as Lance Cpl. Grimes was loading his groceries into his truck.

That's when police say Anthony Gibson approached him.

"Put my bags in the trunk and as I got ready to get in the truck, he said 'hey you, how are you?'" Lance Cpl. Grimes recalled. "I turned around and he was right behind me. He asked how I've been, grabs my hand, starting shaking it. I told him I didn't know who he was and was leaving that's when he grabbed me."

Lance Cpl. Grimes says his instincts kicked in and he started to defend himself.

"He had a gun and if I didn't do what he wanted to do, he was going to shoot me," said Lance Cpl. Grimes. "My whole body kind of went numb. I just realized this whole situation had gone to a pretty bad situation."

Then, Grimes says Gibson forced him to drive to the nearest ATM and withdraw money.

"I did what he said, but he stayed in the truck and when I got out, I went to the ATM and stuck my card in and hit balance inquiry instead," said Grimes.

Telling, Gibson he he didn't have enough money to withdraw.

"He started freaking out and demanded that I take him to McDonalds to get food," said Grimes. "I took him through the drive through and ordered him a Big Mac, fries, and a Hi-C drink and then I drove up to the next window."

McDonald's asst. manager Jerry Green says he recognized Anthony Gibson right away and was suspicious.

"It seemed funny because the guy he was riding with usually comes in the restaurant and causes problems for us," said Green.

"I handed the manager my card. I lipped to him to call 911," said Grimes.

The quick thinking restaurant staff told them to pull up and wait on their order and then sprung into action.

"At first I was like, 'Are you serious?', but you know we try to stay focused on our customers and we give them our undivided attention," said Jerry Green. "I stepped out of the box and called police. They got here in less than three minutes."

"If it weren't for them, I'd probably be dead right now," said Grimes.

While all situations are different, Police said Grimes also helped himself by staying calm during the situation and using quick thinking.

This kidnapping all happened during the middle of the day so all of the usual tips police give like staying in a well lit area didn't apply to this case. But police do say, make sure you are aware of your surroundings and be on alert.

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