Yasmine James, the 20-year-old Black McDonald’s employee that was violently attacked by a white man due to a dispute over a plastic straw, has finally opened up about the now viral video.
“He grabbed me and that really scared me because I didn’t know if he had a gun or a knife or what,” James shared during an interview organized by her attorneys on Thursday afternoon.
“When he grabbed me, my main thing was to get him off of me the best way I knew. Just let me go.”
Thanks to her quick thinking, and boxing as a teenager, she was able to fight back and release herself from the aggressor’s grip.
The 40-year-old attacker, Daniel Taylor was charged with two counts of simple battery.
According to 10News, James, who started working at the McDonald’s in St. Petersburg three months ago, and her attorneys are now on a mission to have the charges elevated to felony battery.
McDonald's issued this statement regarding the incident Thursday:
“We share the community's concern, and are taking this disturbing incident very seriously. Our highest priority is always the safety and well-being of everyone in the restaurant, and we do not condone violence of any kind, especially against our employees. We firmly stand with our employees everywhere, including our employees at this restaurant who were involved in this incident.”
As for what she thinks about her manager not coming to her rescue? She doesn’t blame him due to claims that McDonald's employees never received proper training on dealing with customer confrontation.
“I don’t want it to be blamed on him, I want to blame it on the way he was trained cause he is not a bad manager. It’s just that when that thing happened it’s like he didn’t know what to do,” James stated.
For now, James is on a leave of absence confessing she doesn’t want to be “paranoid” and “scared” while working.
(Photos from left: WLFA-TV, wtsp.com)