A viral video recorded Monday in a St. Petersburg McDonald’s captured a white man violently attack a Black employee during a dispute over a plastic straw.
According to Brenda Biandudi, who recorded the video, the man had gotten his order and went over to the condiment station to get a straw. When he noticed there were none on display, he grew irate and began yelling at the cashier.
“She told him that it’s the law now that they’re not supposed to have the straws in the lobby,” Biandudi told The Washington Post in a phone interview Wednesday. “He said there’s no such law.”
Last month, the St. Petersburg City Council voted to ban plastic straws by 2020. In 2019, restaurants must not provide straws unless a customer specifically asks for it and by next year all plastic straws will be banned in city businesses, reported the Washington Post.
As the dispute between the man and the cashier grew out of control, Biandudi pulled out her phone and began recording.
In her video, the man leans across the counter and aggressively grabs the employee, who was later identified as Yasmine James. After a brief moment, James quickly begins defending herself and punches at the man.
Once the employees successfully break apart the violent altercation, the customer points to the woman and yells, “Sir, I want her a-- fired!”
“No, you’re going to jail!” James responds.
After the footage stopped, the customer also kicked another employee in the stomach while he was getting escorted out of the business.
Later on, police arrested Daniel Willis Taylor, who was charged with two counts of simple battery and was ordered to stay away from the McDonald’s restaurant.
“The victim was kicked in the stomach by the defendant, and was complaining of pain,” police stated in an affidavit. “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.”
Biandudi said she heard one injured employee "saying she felt pain in her stomach area, she had had a C-section, and had a pain."
No disciplinary action has been taken towards James, despite rumors of her being fired.
(Photos from left: WLFA-TV, Pinella County Sheriff's Office)