A 37-year-old Parksville man is facing charges after he flashed a handgun in an attempt to get a free coffee at McDonald’s.

Oceanside RCMP say a man entered a McDonald’s in Parksville on Tuesday around 2:30 p.m. and demanded a free coffee. When staff refused, the man pulled up his shirt revealing a handgun in the waistband of his pants.

Police say staff gave the man a coffee and he left the restaurant.

Mounties tracked the man down within minutes and seized a “very realistic” fake handgun and a small quantity of illicit drugs, then arrested him.

Police say the 37-year-old is well known to police and has been released. He is facing charges of possession of a weapon for dangerous purpose and breach of probation.