Charles Nelson Beasley Jr.

Beasley Jr.

A Blackfoot man who was arrested Saturday for reportedly robbing a McDonald’s restaurant at gunpoint was arraigned Monday.

If sentenced, Charles Nelson Beasley Jr., 50, is facing a minimum of five years in prison and up to a life sentence.

The robbery occurred just after 8 a.m. Saturday at the McDonald’s on 17th Street. Surveillance footage captured Beasley approaching the counter and ordering food. According to the cashier, Beasley then showed him a gun in his waistband and threatened to shoot the cashier unless he gave Beasley all the cash in the register.

Surveillance footage showed the cashier opening the register and handing a handful of bills to Beasley. The footage captured Beasley leaving in a 2009 silver Volkswagen.

The cashier said Beasley was calm the entire time to avoid alerting the customers. The cashier told police he served the next customer in line after Beasley left to avoid creating panic and because, “he did not want the customer to experience lesser customer service because of the incident,” according to an Idaho Falls Police Department report.

Beasley left with $134. Police were able to identify him due to a distinctive tattoo on his forehead that appears to depict the Roman numeral III.

Police sent out an alert to other law enforcement offices. Beasley was located and arrested by Bingham County Sheriff’s deputies at his mother’s house in Blackfoot.

The police report states Beasley was emotional during his interview with detectives, telling them he had been released from prison in California two years ago after serving 23 years. He lost his job, and told detectives he robbed McDonald’s to pay his bills and to buy a gift for his wife. He spent $30 on gasoline and $58 on his phone bill, and an unspecified amount on food and cigarettes. Beasley also told police he had thrown the shirt and jacket he wore during the robbery into the Snake River.

Beasley first told police the gun was just a piece of plastic, then told them it was a BB gun. He said it was hidden at his mother’s home. The family allowed police to search the house, where they located the gun.

A preliminary hearing is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. Nov. 21 in Bonneville County Courthouse.

Reporter Johnathan Hogan can be reached at 208-542-6746.

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