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Gunman Threatens Customers at Pasadena In-N-Out Before Stealing Cop Car

A scary scene last night on Foothill Boulevard

In-N-Out, Pasadena
In-N-Out, Pasadena
Farley Elliott is the Senior Editor at Eater LA and the author of Los Angeles Street Food: A History From Tamaleros to Taco Trucks. He covers restaurants in every form, from breaking news to the culture, people, and history that surrounds LA's dining landscape.

Here’s an intense night: you’re out, eating a burger with friends, when a man pulls into in the parking lot of your local In-N-Out and threatens to start shooting people. The cops show up, and before they can get ahold of the situation, the guy steals a cop car and takes off, crashing miles away before being taken into custody.

Well that’s allegedly how it all went down last night in Pasadena, and it ended with 52 year-old suspect Joel Soto behind bars. According to ABC 7, the Foothill Boulevard In-N-Out location quickly became a scary place when a belligerent Soto showed up just before 10 p.m., yelling at customers and blocking traffic routes with his car. He even threatened to shoot people, police say, before being confronted by officers. Eventually he managed to steal one of the officer’s cruisers and took off, leading cops on a nearly 10-mile chase before crashing near Lake Avenue.

Police were able to subdue Soto using non-lethal force and he’s now in custody, facing a slew of felony charges. This isn’t the first time Soto has allegedly had some bad interactions with that location, either; police say he had already shown up to the In-N-Out earlier in the evening and threatened several employees.