A McDonald’s employee in Elkhart, Indiana, was the victim of a cruel prank when an unidentified black male threw a cup of gasoline in her face while advancing through the drive thru.
The assailants recorded the incident on their cellular phones and uploaded it to social media. The video was quickly removed, as it may be linked to a hate crime, but ABC 57 News was able to obtain the video before it was removed.
The victim is Kayla Prater, of Elkhart, and works at the McDonald’s location as a manager. The incident happened around 1:30 a.m. on Friday, May 2o. It seemed like any other late night at the location that she manages when the car of three black males pulled into the drive thru and placed their order. As many late night customers are, the three males were a bit rambunctious inside the car. However, as the car started to drive away, the black male in the back seat revealed a 7-11 cup full of gasoline and tossed it into the window, where it doused Prater.
CBS 58 revealed that Prater believes the attack was random, and she just happened to be the victim of the night. She does not believe it was a race-related crime, but will not completely rule it out.
Prater was shocked and surprised that the gasoline was thrown in her face. She was unsure happened at first, but felt the burning as soon as the liquid hit her. She did not know if it was gasoline, acid, or some other substance.
“They came up to the window and asked for a cup of water and I was getting them the water and then they said ‘hey [expletive deleted]’ and tossed the gasoline in the window on my face and my arm and my shoulder. It burned. It just burned really bad.”
Prater is scared to return to work, the incident is fresh in her mind. She keeps hearing the laugh of the black males whenever she thinks about it.
“They just threw it and then they drove off and they laughed about it.”
ABC 57 interviewed Prater and her mother in an exclusive segment. Prater’s mother, Pamela, is upset at the incident and that it is nothing to laugh about. Both women are hopeful that the black males are caught and brought to justice.
There is a 7-11 right across the street from the McDonald’s, and it is hopeful that security cameras there recorded the males filing the cup.
The three black males are thought to be between 18 and 21.
Prater took a few days off the work to recover mentally from the assault. However, she knows she will need to return, despite now having a fear of working the drive thru window.
“I’m still afraid to be in the window, to go back in the window but I know I have to.”
Prater received minor injuries from the gasoline assault. She was treated at a local hospital for eye irritation and slight burns to the face. Her medical bills are to be paid by McDonald’s.
The incident seems to be an isolated attack, and it is not expected that the black males will repeat the attack. However, police hope to identify them before they have another opportunity to attempt other dangerous pranks that may cause more harm to innocent people.
Police are currently investigating the case and hope to apprehend the suspects for further questioning. The faces of the men in the video seem to be fairly clear, so they do not anticipate it will take long.
The video can be viewed here.
[Image via Facebook]