McDonald's Customer in Central Florida Charged With Battering Workers During Argument Over Straw

A witness' video posted on Facebook shows Daniel Taylor grabbing Yasmine James by the shirt.

A man is under arrest after authorities say he grabbed the shirt of a Florida McDonald's employee and tried to pull her over a counter during an argument over a straw.

The employee responded by punching the customer several times in the face at the St. Petersburg restaurant on Monday.

Brenda Biandudi, who witnessed the fight and whose son posted the video on Facebook, told WFLA Daniel Taylor started yelling because there were no straws at the drink station. (Caution: The video posted on Facebook contains profanity).

A new ordinance passed by the St. Petersburg City Council last month says restaurants in the city can only give out plastic straws to those who request them. A full ban on plastic straws will take effect in 2020.

"The young lady behind the counter told him, it's the law now, we're not allowed to have straws in the lobby but you can request one," Biandudi said.

In a separate interview with The Washington Post, Biandudi said that the man didn't believe that there was such a law and the argument escalated. 

St. Petersburg police say the video shows Taylor grabbing Yasmine James' shirt. James responded by hitting him several times.

"She starts defending herself," Biandudi said. "She started hitting him and the other employees came from behind."

Police say Taylor is charged with two counts of simple battery for grabbing James and for kicking another worker in the stomach as he was being escorted out.

Taylor is being represented by the public defender's office, which didn't respond to a request for comment.

James is still employed at McDonald's but cannot comment due to the company's policy, according to WFLA.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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