McDonald’s ‘ax man’ Michael Palacios reveals why he carries hatchet over gun, says he’s not ‘unhinged’

The accused madman who flew into an ax-wielding rampage at a Lower East Side McDonald’s told The Post on Monday that he’s “not unhinged” — and just did what anyone would do in his situation.

Michael Palacios, a 31-year-old Manhattan messenger, said his ax-capades were all about trying to scare the McDonald’s patrons who punched him during a beef early Friday — as he also shared his philosophy on why he prefers his “tomahawk” to a gun.

“Think about it. If you only think that the thing you can protect yourself with is a gun, we’re all going to go to f–king jail,” he said. “With a hatchet, I have my options — throw it or just smash a f–king table. With a gun, all you do is shoot.

“I’m not unhinged,” said the man, who was released without bail under the state’s controversial bail reform laws. 

“I’m not psychotic. I just did what anybody would do when being pummeled. What would you do? Take out your phone and call 911?

“I’m not a loose canon,” Palacios insisted. “I don’t think just because I’m angry and going through some s–t, I’m going to hurt other people. … People are saying, ‘Oh, these guys are lucky.’ It had nothing to do with luck.

“It’s not luck that they didn’t get chopped up. I didn’t chop them up because I didn’t want to.

“Everybody’s talking about how I should be in jail,” Palacios said. “I did my 18 hours, bro. What else do you want? Why do I have to be in jail? I’m not going to make it a race thing just because I’m big and black.

“It’s New York City,” he said. “I’ve been here for a long time, and there’s always been crime. I got hit in the head with a hammer at that corner like 10 years ago while I was walking to the store. Some random dude.

“So, 10 years ago, somebody got hit with a hammer. Today, somebody hit a table with a f–king hatchet. I think things are getting better, if you ask me.”

Cellphone footage from the rampage inside the Delancey Street fast-food eatery shortly before 2:30 a.m. Friday shows Palacios trying to talk to a woman in the restaurant.

An Uber Eats driver who shot the incident on his cellphone said Palacios grew angry when the woman “rejected” him.

But Palacios said that’s not how it went down, claiming the violent incident stemmed from an argument with a patron after a security guard at the eatery refused to let him use the bathroom. 

“I’m like, ‘Yo, bro, c’mon. Open the bathroom,’” he said. “And then I hear, ‘You, you don’t have to be mean about it.’ I’m like, ‘Shut the f–k up.’ I didn’t even look back. I just said it, and then it all became, ‘Oh, I’ll slap you.’ I’m like, ‘Where are you gonna slap me?’ And that’s when I came at the guy with the black tank top.

“And eventually I just got tired of three dudes backing me up, and I just slapped one of them. It had nothing to do with attacking women,” he said. “The woman had no issues. I had no issues with the woman.”

But three patrons jumped him and pummeled him with punches — even as he appeared to remain calm, according to the Uber Eats driver and video.

“I showed composure. People just see blankness, but I was thinking,” Palacios said. “I was processing. You ever download a program and the Apple sign spins? That was me processing.”

Palacios then pulled out the ax and smashed up the restaurant.

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