A man who went on to threaten people and destroy property with an axe inside a McDonald's in New York over the weekend has now been released without bail.

The 31-year-old man, identified as Michael Palacios, was seen pulling out an axe from his backpack following an altercation at the fast-food joint.

The altercation reportedly took place after other men present at the fast-food joint came to the defence of a woman who was being pursued by Palacios against her wishes.

He claims that he took out the axe because he was being assaulted by other men at the joint. In a video that has now gone viral on the internet, a group of men can be seen punching the accused repeatedly.

The man kept "going at a woman," at the restaurant. The woman, however, did not want to speak to him, but Palacios just would not stop. And this is when things went out of control.

"So, basically he got into an argument with a girl, and then the girl rejected him. She didn't want to talk to him. He kept going at her," an eyewitness told The Post.

The others present at the scene came to the woman's rescue. The video shows at least three men then trying to intervene, which led to an altercation. The accused could then be seen opening his bag and taking out an axe from it.

He then goes on to threaten people and damage the property at the McDonald's joint. In a fit of rage, Palacios broke two tables with the axe and a glass partition. After wreaking havoc at the restaurant and threatening more than a dozen people, he left on his bicycle.

He was arrested shortly after the incident. He was arraigned on fourth-degree criminal mischief and possession-of-weapons charges but was later freed without bail, according to the Manhattan district attorney's office. Under the state's criminal justice reforms, neither are bail-eligible offences.

Palacios even gave an interview to ABC after the incident where he defended his actions. "I did what I needed to do. The most important thing is don't be afraid to defend yourself," he told the outlet.

Crime Scene
Crime scene police line | Representational Image Photo: GETTY IMAGES / SCOTT OLSON GETTY IMAGES/SCOTT OLSON