NEWARK, N.J. - A man released a large, white rat into a McDonald’s in New Jersey last week, sending people scrambling for the exit.

Cellphone video that appears to have been shot by an accomplice, shows a man walk into the McDonald’s holding a plastic pet carrier with the rodent inside. The man opens the carrier, tips the rat onto the floor and runs away.

 
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Screams can be heard as patrons run toward the exit and out the door. The rodent in question appears to scurry under a table.

The restaurant's owner and operator, Celest Quintana, confirmed “the safety of our customers and the cleanliness of our restaurants are our top priority." The staff thoroughly cleaned and sanitized the dining area and contacted the police.

Newark police didn’t immediately respond to request for comment on the incident.