A Florida man was caught on video allegedly assaulting two McDonald’s employees in what appears to have been a racially-motivated incident, the Washington Post is reporting. For reasons that remain unclear, the dutiful employees continued to take the man’s order even after the alleged assault.
Daniel Taylor, 40, is behind bars following the New Year’s Eve dispute. Witness Brenda Biandudi said she stopped by a St. Petersburg McDonald’s at about 6:50 p.m. only to find the place empty but for some workers and a single customer – allegedly Taylor.
According to Biandudi’s account, Taylor was upset about the lack of straws in the lobby. As it turns out, St. Petersburg had recently passed a law prohibiting straws at city businesses unless the customer specifically asks. And although the law doesn’t go into effect until 2020, that particular McDonald’s location apparently wanted to get ahead of the curve.
It didn’t sit well with Taylor, who allegedly berated a cashier.
“She told him that it’s the law now that they’re not supposed to have the straws in the lobby. He said there’s no such law.”
Essence identified the cashier as Yasmine James. When Taylor allegedly lunged at the African American woman and grabbed her by the shirt collar, she fought back, managing to land a couple of punches.
The incident was caught on video, which you can see below. Be warned: this video contains language that may be disturbing to some viewers.
As customers and other employees tried to intervene, a store manager tried to calm down Taylor and take his order.
After more exchanges of words and more fisticuffs, a male employee picked him up and carried him out of the building, locking the door behind him, according to the Atlanta Black Star. During the kerfuffle, he allegedly kicked another female employee in the stomach, according to a Pinellas County Police report.
“The defendant was being escorted out of the business by management due to him battering another employee and causing a disturbance. The defendant kicked the victim in the stomach while she was standing near the exit door. There are several witnesses and the incident was captured on video.”
Biandudi followed Taylor outside and told the media that he walked away from the incident “as if nothing had happened.” However, the cops didn’t see it that way, and he was arrested a short time later.
According to Corporal Dan DiFrancesco of the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office, Taylor has been charged with two counts of battery.