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Yasmine James, the McDonald’s worker who was viciously assaulted by a male customer over a straw, is on leave after the Dec. 31 incident. Some outlets, including ours, said she has been fired, but James confirmed that is not the case.

She has also, according to WFTS News, hired a lawyer.

The lawyer, Michele Rayner Goolsby, issued a statement:

On New Year’s Eve at the McDonald’s located on 34th Street South in St. Petersburg, Ms. James was physically attacked by Daniel Taylor, a customer who became enraged after being told of the restaurant’s ‘no straw in the lobby’ policy, simply meaning straws are only offered to customers upon request. Taylor, refusing to believe Ms. James, proceeded to berate her, hurling vulgar and discriminatory names at her, while threatening physical violence in front of her colleagues and other customers.

Ms. James’ attempts to de-escalate the situation were met by more violence, as Taylor forcefully grabbed her by the collar, dragging her over the top of the counter. Ms. James was left to defend herself, as no one immediately stepped in to help. While Taylor was arrested, the McDonald’s corporation has yet to release a statement about the incident and has placed Ms. James on leave. This case is a clear example of how white privilege and male privilege too often leave Black women alone to defend themselves in the face of harm. I’m grateful that Ms. James has entrusted me with her case; she’s not alone in the fight anymore.

James also talked about her ordeal for the first time.

“I didn’t have any control over my body when he grabbed me,” she told WFTS. “Like I’m scared, like why are you grabbing me, I just didn’t understand his intentions. Even though we were having a verbal conversation, I don’t think it was that for him to grab me.”

James confirms that she was not fired and says that she also does not blame her manager, who took his share of online criticism for not immediately coming to her defense and for seemingly trying to appease the customer who assaulted her. She says that the staff simply didn’t know what to do and had no protocol for how to handle the attack.

“I am committed to using this horrible experience as means to fight for justice, not only for myself, but for other women experiencing this kind of violence in environments where they should be safe and protected. I am so grateful for the outpouring of support I have received from all around the country. I am aware this type of violence happens to women, especially Black women, everyday,” James said.

Video footage of the attack went viral showing an irate white male customer grabbing James and yanking her over the counter. The violent patron was later identified by St. Petersburg police as 40-year-old Daniel Willis Taylor of Clearwater, Florida. He was arrested and charged with 2 counts of misdemeanor assault.

“I want her ass fired right now,” Taylor is heard saying in the clip after another employee pulled him away.

When Taylor initiated his attack, James defended herself by pounding on his face as the holds the collar of her uniform.

“No, you’re finna go to jail,” yells James after the two are separated. “You put your hands on me first!”

“I couldn’t control you,” replies Taylor. “I was just asking you a question, bitch!”

Brenda Biandudi, the mother of the man who posted the video to Facebook, told WFLA that the fight began when Taylor complained there were no straws at the drink station. That’s because of a newly passed St. Petersburg ordinance that states “plastic straws can be given only upon customer request”— in effort to increase the city’s sustainability.

Taylor reportedly assaulted another female employee, Tateona Bell — who he kicked in the abdomen, as he was being escorted out of the eatery by police.

“The victim was kicked in the stomach by the defendant and was complaining of pain,” the police report stated. “The defendant was a customer at McDonald’s, and the victim is an employee. The defendant was being escorted out of the business by management due to him battering another employee, and causing a disturbance.”

Meanwhile, rumors that James was fired by McDonald’s corporation are said to be untrue.

PHOTO: Video screenshot





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21 thoughts on “McDonald’s Employee Who Defended Herself In Assault Hires Lawyer

  1. SheCat54 on said:

    So proud of you young lady. Them SORRY ASS males didn’t have your back but I know if it would have lasted a little longer the other brown skin female was at the ready. Stay strong sistas because at the end of the day most black men really punks when it’s time to defend us. They think anything negative happening to brown skin women is so damn funny!

  2. I am most certainly not white but if this were a black man reaching across the counter grabbing a black girl would it be racist.. No it would be simple assault. It isn’t right but not everything is racist no one knows his intentions or if they were racist he just seems unstable and would have grabbed anyone over that counter just because it happens to be a black girl doesn’t mean he’s racist. I’m not a fan of how the race card is used today is all. Causes more separation instead of unity I think the misuse of the word is racist in itself.

  3. charles on said:

    Alex I don”t know who the hell you are but you sound like some WHITE MF who needs an EDUCATION on BLACK LIFE.AGIN that ORANGE HEAD 45 has INSPIRED all of this.But we MUST FIGHT FIRE WITH FIRE!!!!!!They MUST be SHOWN them their white supreme is NOT supreme at ALL.!!!!!!!!!!!!! POWER TO THE PEOPLE!!!!!!!!

    • No good oldn’t do it #44 did.. When we elected him it was a turning point for our nation gone is the day of segregation and prejudice.. He created division in the country and we started with this PC bullshit and being so afraid to offend others that we call everything racist..

  4. charles on said:

    Say it or not this is a RACIST ACT If it walks like a RACIST and talks like a RACIST then that what the HELL it is.AGAIN WHITE RACIST SHIT!!!!!!! SO glad that SISTER defended herself.Those PUCK ASS BROS (in the background)) shud be TARRED AND FEATHERED for not helping that SISTER in dire need of HELP.Come on WAKE UP When WE are ATTACKED by those RACIST DEVILS we MUST FIGHT BACK TOGETHER!!!!!! TIME TO REVOLT IS NOW!!!!!!!! POWER TO THE PEOPLE!!!!!!!!!!

  5. Why does everything have to be about Race? Plain and simple a customer grabbed an employee who should be safe at their job. I hate everyone making everything a race issue. IF the dude is crazy to grab a McDonald’s worker around the neck he deserves what he got. I didn’t see him try that with the huge dudes behind the counter no the small 100 lb girl. Weak ass coward. Not everything is racist I think that word is flung around too freely nowadays.

  6. stephanie Jones on said:

    Ms. James, very smart move, I’m so happy you got a lawyer, sue that racist maggot, and if McDonald choose to terminate you, sue them also. This hatred has to stop, we have to protect and defend ourselves by any means necessary.

  7. This young lady did exactly what I would have done defend herself. No questions about it he was totally out of line. It’s not a RACE thing or maybe it is because if the worker was white I’m sure he wouldn’t have gone to the extreme of grabbing her/him around their collar.

    • Shavon Johnson on said:

      I am a McDonald’s worker and ive had customers do me like this one situation was a whote elder woman and the other a young white male when placed in a situation like this you have to use quick judgement rather it cost you your job or not its for the safety of your co workers and yourself it isnt about being a hood rat like really what if this man had a gun and killed all of them what would have been said then? How would this situation would have been handled then? I salute this young lady for defending herself by herself that took a lot of courage and in this situation it plainly goes to show everyone across the world that customers aren’t always right

    • Phyllis on said:

      I wish you would pop off to the right hood rat Ni@@a and get your ass handed to you. But we know that won’t happen because you are a keyboard racist coward ass bastard.

  8. Ted Gravely on said:

    Excellent. The standard by stupid racist white people is – if the customer (read black) argues with an employee, “Call the racist gang in blue.” Hmmm,I guess that rule only applies if it’s black customer/client and white employee. I hope she successfully sues that franchise out of business. Weak arse manager still trying to assist a violent racist customer who grabbed his teammate. Those men are not on video beating that racist customer to the ground. Nope. Let him walk out and kick a woman in the stomach. Racists always have excuses – he’s homeless, drunk, ect…. Oh guess what this article does – appropriately address a rumor. Black people and media are held to angelic like requirements. Not that fat turd at 1600. He can cheat on his wives, say vile things and stupid racists, and cockroach coons run to his defense. Shut these folks down immediately.

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