Person of interest sought in explosion at Orange County McDonald's

Officials release surveillance video showing man at restaurant

By Brianna Volz - Web producer , Matt Petrillo - Reporter

ORLANDO, Fla. - The Orange County Sheriff's Office is searching for a person of interest after an explosion Sunday at a McDonald's in Lockhart.

The restaurant on North Orange Blossom Trail was evacuated after an explosion was reported in the bathroom at 2:36 p.m., deputies said. 

The men's bathroom was extensively damaged in the explosion, officials said.

Deputies released a security video showing the person of interest pacing back and forth outside McDonald's. He's then seen walking inside the men's restroom before, moments later, darting back outside and running away.

WATCH VIDEO BELOW

"He's a white male with a beard in his 30s, black sneakers, black shorts and he has a back brace as well," Orange County Sheriff's Office Capt. Angelo Nieves said. "The explosion occurs inside the restroom approximately 30 seconds after he vacated."

Deputies said Monday afternoon that they have identified the man in the video, but are not releasing his identity. He has refused to speak with authorities.

Authorities are not sure exactly what caused the bang, but that the men's bathroom was empty during the explosion, while at least a dozen people were elsewhere inside the McDonald's.

"You can see through the video individuals immediately stand up and they leave," Nieves said. "This explosion was dangerous, could have injured someone."

The restaurant owner said he's glad nobody was injured in the explosion. 

[PHOTOS:  Explosion inside McDonald's bathroom]

The restaurant was closed during an investigation but later reopened.

Orange County Fire Rescue officials and the Sheriff's Office are investigating the incident. The Sheriff's Office Hazardous Device Team will also conduct an investigation, deputies said.

No further details were available.

Anyone who sees the man in the video is asked to call 911 or Crimeline at 800-423-TIPS.

 

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