Most of the people present inside the store couldn't make out what Chien was yelling, and it reportedly created a situation of panic.
The site quotes Nancy Birnbaum, a lawyer who lives nearby and was at the Apple Store at the time, "The blade must have been two feet, curved, shining. Everybody just quickly moved back to the perimeter of the store. I've never been more terrified in my life."
No one was physically harmed in the incident, and security guards created a wall between customers and Chien at the bottom of the stairwell.
"I tried to talk him out of it because I thought he was trying to commit suicide. He was on the stairs so I dropped my things and ran up to him but security grabbed me," Giovanni Gabbana, an eyewitness at the scene said.
The situation appeared to get worse as they escorted him out. Chien stepped out of the store and held the sword to the back of his neck in what may have been an attempted suicide before police tackled him to the ground.
The man was then taken by ambulance to Bellevue Hospital for evaluation. Apple has yet to comment on the incident.