SAN RAFAEL — A 35-year-old Novato man has been arrested on several felony charges after verbally threatening and physically attacking customers and an employee at a McDonald’s in Terra Linda.
The San Rafael police said the incident took place over the weekend at the McDonald’s located on Merrydale Road.
Officers responded to Sunday afternoon reports of a disturbance at the fast food restaurant. Upon on arrival, Robert Michael Chernoff was outside and refused to cooperate with police.
He allegedly had verbally threatened and assaulted victims with an unknown aerosol spray, used hand strikes and also attempted to stab them with a knife.
Chernoff refused to discard the knife he was holding in his hand as police quickly evacuated the restaurant and surrounding area.
Officers also called for additional assistance from the Marin County Sheriff’s Office, which assisted with establishing a safety perimeter.
An extended standoff with Chernoff ensued as a crisis negotiation team was called in. For almost four hours, numerous attempts were made to convince Chernoff to surrender peacefully, but he continued to be uncooperative and became increasingly agitated.
Additional warnings were given to Chernoff regarding the possible use of force should he choose not to surrender peacefully.
When the arrest team approached Chernoff, they were forced to use less-than-lethal munitions and deploy a police K9.
Chernoff was bit by the K9, broke free and then placed the dog into a headlock where it appeared he was trying to choke it.
While Chernoff resisted, a Taser was used to successfully subdue him and take him into custody.
Chernoff received an injury to his arm from where the dog bit him. He was treated for his injuries at a local hospital.
Chernoff has been booked into the Marin County Jail for felony assault with a deadly weapon/knife, felony criminal threats, misdemeanor assault and battery, misdemeanor resisting and obstructing police officers, and misdemeanor harming a police K9.
Investigators are still trying to determine the motivation behind the attack.Other than Chernoff, no one was injured in this incident.