A topless woman armed with two machetes smashed up a cash register and glass display counter at a George Town coffee shop in a bizarre early-morning rampage as terrified customers hid in the bathroom.
The woman left Café del Sol only after staff gave her a free piece of carrot cake. After leaving Café Del Sol, she next targeted the nearby Burger King, where police apprehended her after she demanded a cheeseburger with lettuce.
Café Del Sol staffer Neil Samson said he told two of his regular customers – an elderly woman and a pregnant woman – to hide in the restroom during the incident.
“We just told them to run to the restroom. They were upset and shaking,” said Mr. Samson. After the woman fled the shop at 7:30 a.m. with a piece of carrot cake in hand, Mr. Samson called police. Staff confirmed they had given the woman a free muffin the previous day.
The woman showed up at Burger King on North Church Street at 8 a.m. and began chopping at the counters there. She threatened the manager and staff and demanded a cheeseburger with lettuce.
Police officers armed with a taser arrested her at Burger King. Police say she dropped the machetes and they did not need to resort to using the taser.
“The police arrived before she got the cheeseburger and arrested her on suspicion of damage to property, causing fear or provocation of violence, and indecent exposure,” said Royal Cayman Islands Police Service Chief Inspector Raymond Christian.
She remained in police custody Wednesday afternoon. Police say they understand the woman suffers from mental health issues.
Senior staff member of Café Del Sol Gary Bautista said staff deal with beggars on a regular basis, and that it’s bad for the tourism business. “There are times that they come in and take a chair, or push a table, or shout at the staff. We’re used to it,” he said.
“Imagine if a tourist comes in, and the first thing he or she saw was a person swinging a machete,” he added. The coffee shop sees hundreds of cruise ship passengers daily.
Mr. Bautista suggested that police conduct more frequent foot patrols in George Town.
“No one was physically injured in both incidents, including the accused. Both incidents are under investigation by the police,” said Chief Inspector Christian.