An argument at a Florida McDonald's outlet on New Year's Eve went out of hand when the customer leapt forth and assaulted the cashier. The customer, a man, asked for plastic straws and the woman cashier told him that they are not allowed to keep straws in the lobby. The city council had voted to ban plastic straws by 2020, with a grace period in 2019, in which customers must specifically request for plastic straws. The man proceeded to argue with the cashier and told her that there is no such law.
The argument escalated following which the man leapt across the counter to grab the cashier. Another customer, Brenda Biandudi, who was present at the scene at that time, scooped out her phone to take a video of the incident. She had managed to capture the entire assault.
In the video that has been shared on Facebook, one can see the white man arguing with the young, black woman. He leaps across the counter to grab her. She can be seen taken aback but soon regains her balance and starts punching the man.
Other people can be seen and heard in the video saying "Let her go" and "Stop!" Another McDonald's employee walks around the counter and pulls the customer away as another colleague pulls the cashier away.
A McDonald's employee addresses the angry customer, who can be heard saying, "Sir, I want her a** fired!" The cashier shoots back at him, "No, you are going to jail!"
Biandudi who captured the incident had moved away in between to get her daughter from the parking lot. When she came back, she realised that someone had called the police. The customer continued to verbally abuse the manager, something she didn't capture, as mentioned in a report in The Washington Post.
By the time the police arrived, the man had left the McDonald's. Biandudi spoke to the police about what she had witnessed in the outlet.
Once she shared the video with her family, her son and daughter asked if they could share it on Facebook. She permitted them hoping that someone might identify the customer.
The video amassed millions of views. The following Sunday evening, the police arrested the customer, 40-year-old Daniel Willis Taylor, who was then charged with two counts of simple battery and was ordered to stay away from the outlet to avoid contact with the cashier. He is awaiting trial.
Arrest records also mention that the customer kicked the cashier in the stomach while she was waiting near the exit door.
McDonald's said that they were fully cooperating with the police. "Our highest priority is always the safety and well-being of our employees and customers at our restaurants," the company said in a statement.
(Edited by Anwesha Madhukalya)