It was closing time just after midnight Thursday at a McDonald’s across from Boston Common, and an employee was walking a co-worker to the front door. When he opened it, the two got a surprise.
Two men forced their way into the restaurant, bound the workers’ wrists with shoelaces, then repeatedly punched a manager while pointing a gun at his face, police said. They left carrying two backpacks stuffed with cash before dumping clothing and gloves in an alley behind the restaurant, according to police.
But the robbers did not get away with it, thanks to the work of a Boston police officer who confronted the men in the alley behind the restaurant, Boston Police Commissioner William B. Evans said.
“He was able to basically hold them at gunpoint and he . . . placed them under arrest,” Evans said in a phone interview.
Those two suspects, Mason McKoy, 27, and Andre Nesbeth, 26, were each ordered held on $100,000 bail during an arraignment Thursday at Boston Municipal Court. They face charges of armed robbery, kidnapping, assault and battery, and assault with a dangerous weapon, officials said.
Police are also investigating whether the men are tied to a similar robbery at the same restaurant Oct. 4, when two assailants tied up employees and brandished a firearm during a closing-time robbery, said Sergeant Michael McCarthy, a Boston police spokesman.
“We’re looking at the possibility they could have been responsible for that one, too,” Evans said.
Police got a 911 call about the latest robbery at 12:02 a.m. Thursday, according to a police report filed in Boston Municipal Court. After tying up the two workers, the men forced them into a storage area in the restaurant, the report said.
The men headed to a back office, where a night manager was counting money, the report said. The manager told police he was repeatedly hit in the face and his hands were tied with the cord of a computer mouse while a firearm was pointed at his face, the report said.
When police arrived at the restaurant, they met a woman who said she was walking on Tremont Street and heard a loud scream coming from the McDonald’s doorway and saw a man attacked by another.
One officer went to an alley at the rear of the restaurant, where he saw a man wearing shorts walking toward him, the report said.
The officer drew his firearm and told the man to put his hands up. The man ran away, taking a left onto another alley. The officer followed, finding him and another man hiding behind trash barrels, the report said.
The officer ordered them to come out from behind the barrels with their hands up. When they did, the men, later identified as McKoy and Nesbeth, were “sweating profusely and out of breath,” the report said.
Police found two backpacks containing cash on top of a recycling bin and two pairs of rubber gloves, Suffolk assistant district attorney Susan Terrey said. When asked about the gloves, one of the men said he was wearing them because he was looking for cans in the trash, the report said.
The weapon the men allegedly used was recovered with the help of the manager, who told police the men tossed it on top of two oil tanks outside the rear of the restaurant, Terrey said. She said the weapon was a soft pellet gun shaped like a sawed-off shotgun.
In court, defense attorneys for McKoy and Nesbeth asked Judge Michael Coyne to fit them with GPS bracelets and order house arrest, saying they have minimal criminal histories. Coyne refused and set bail at $100,000 each, far more than the $10,000 sought by Terrey. Both men are scheduled to return to court Dec. 4.
While waiting for their case to be called, the men sat together in court with their hands and ankles in shackles, laughing.
Evans described the apprehension of McKoy and Nesbeth as a “great arrest.”
He said they were two dangerous men “who could have done some bad damage.”