Earlier this month a video went viral when a man walked into the Broad Street McDonald's in downtown Newark, NJ and released a rat in the middle of the dining area.

The video starts out very calm as the unidentified man enters the crowded McDonald's with a young boy. The rat is in a clear small container, and we see someone else following him filming the prank. Once the man makes it to the middle of seating area he releases the rat to roam free in the restaurant.

Hysteria is the best word to describe the reaction of the surrounding customers in the area closest to the rat. The people seated near the entrance of the restaurant can be seen quickly gathering their belongings and rushing to the door to leave. Others are heard screaming and jumping over seats, and the customers in line waiting to order stay to the back of the restaurant to avoid the frenzy in the front of the McDonald's.

The owner of this franchise said that safety and cleanliness are their top priorities.

"The safety of our customers and the cleanliness of our restaurants are our top priorities," Celest Quintana, the owner/operator of the franchise, said in a statement shared with our sister station, NJ1015.

Celest also confirmed the dining room has been cleaned and sanitized.

"We are currently working with local law enforcement to identify the person responsible for this deliberate act," according to Quintana.

You can read more about this incident here.

More From 94.5 PST