Two 20-year-old men engaged in a heated debate this morning with a worker at the restaurant over sandwich toppings. They wanted diced onions, and the restaurant does not dice its onions.
As the argument escalated at the restaurant in the 600 block of 22nd Street West, one of the men reached into the pocket of his friend's coat, pulled out a live snake and threw it behind the counter. Staff members fled the store in fear.
"Obviously, [the workers] were very frightened," said police spokeswoman Alyson Edwards. "There was quite a lot of screaming going on."
Police were called at about 7:30 a.m. They located two suspects nearby and took them into custody.
The men face charges of mischief and causing a disturbance.
Officers were able to catch the non-venomous garter snake and have found a temporary home for the animal. The snake will be released into the wild in the spring.
There were no reports of injuries.