UPDATED: A man robbed a Patchogue Saturday afternoon, but was caught just minutes later, police said.
Craig Gernett, 33, walked into the McDonalds located on Sunrise Highway at Gateway Plaza around 1:05 p.m. and soon walked to the counter, demanded money and verbally threatened violence, while making a motion that indicated he had a gun, police said.
The employee complied with Gernett’s demands, and handed him several hundred dollars. Gernett told the employee he was going to come back and kill her, police said.
Gernett, whose last known address is a halfway house in Brooklyn, fled the scene, running across four lanes of the highway's service road and another six of the highway itself and into the Shore Motor Inn, police said.
A witness, who saw Gernett run across the highway, thought it looked suspicious, and watched Gernett go into his hotel room, police said.
The witness alerted responding Fifth Precinct officers and told the officers what room Gernett went into. Police found Gernett less than 20 minutes after the robbery and he was then arrested. A portion of the proceeds from the robbery was found in Gernett's pocket, police said.
Gernett is also wanted for an escape warrant by the U.S. Marshals Service, police said.
He is charged with first degree robbery. He is scheduled to be arraigned at First District Court in Central Islip on Sunday.