Carl’s Jr. pepper-spray attacker refuses mental health treatment

It was the cheeseburger — not the apple — that kept the doctor away.

A deranged transient who pepper-sprayed employees at a Carl’s Jr. restaurant in San Carlos because he thought they were poisoning him has refused mental health treatment and said he would rather just serve out whatever punishment he’ll get for the crime, authorities said.

Richard Allen English Jr., 52, had been living near a creek close to the fast food eatery when he concocted a plan to fight poison with poison on May 3, San Mateo County prosecutors said.

After spending several minutes in the restaurant’s restroom, he reportedly walked up to the counter, whipped out “a canister of bear repellent” and sprayed it at three employees, “causing significant pain and discomfort,” authorities said.

“That bear repellent is like three or four times the potency of [typical pepper-spray],” Chief Deputy District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe said.

English then allegedly ran out of the store and shouted “run!” to a pedestrian, before spraying him with the repellent, prosecutors said.

English pleaded no contest to the charges in August.

The suspect “has major mental health problems,” Wagstaffe said.

The court told English he could be referred to the Pathways Mental Health Court. He refused on Friday, saying he’d rather serve out his sentence, which could be up to a year in county jail, Wagstaffe said.

The judge is giving English until Friday to change his mind, Wagstaffe said. That is also the day he will likely be sentenced.

“The judge told him to just think about it,” Wagstaffe said.

maldax@sfexaminer.com

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