CLEARWATER, Fla. (FOX 13) - A McDonald’s employee, seen on a video recorded by a bystander, being attacked by an angry customer has hired an attorney. She hopes the charges against her alleged attacker are upgraded to felonies.
The victim, Yasmine James, and her attorneys say they are pursuing all legal options and nothing is off the table.
They also want to see McDonald’s update its policy to include training for employees on how to handle aggressive customers.
In the now-viral video, a male customer grabs James by the shirt collar and pulls her towards him. James fights to get him to let go, landing several blows to his head, face and arms before another employee is able to separate the two.
The customer, 40-year-old Daniel Taylor, was arrested and charged with two counts of simple battery.
James spoke at a news conference Thursday with her attorneys Michele Rayner-Goolsby and Shannon Ligon. They say James is still traumatized by what happened, but she’s trying her best to recover.
McDonald’s has welcomed her back, but she’s unsure if she’ll ever return to work.
“Not knowing if someone’s going to come back and try to do the same thing or someone feels empowered by what they saw. Ultimately, she’s a young woman. She’s 20 years old. This is a job she put so much into,” explained Rainer-Goolsby.
James added, “I work so close with the customers and now that everyone knows, some people don’t agree with this, they can do anything. People can just come through the drive-thru.”
McDonald’s released an updated statement late Thursday saying in part, “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.”