A St. Petersburg, Florida, a McDonald’s customer has been arrested after starting (and handily losing) a brawl with a female restaurant employee over plastic straws.
Upset about the lack of any straws in the condiment section, Daniel Willis Taylor — a white male transient, according to The Washington Post — proceeded to verbally scold a black female cashier. The argument quickly escalated into physical violence when Taylor reached across the counter and grabbed the employee’s shirt.
“She told him that it’s the law now that they’re not supposed to have the straws in the lobby,” said Brenda Biandudi, who witnessed and recorded the altercation, then spoke to The Washington Post on Wednesday via phone. “He said there’s no such law.”
But the cashier was indeed correct, as the St. Petersburg City Council voted to ban plastic straws entirely starting in 2020 but allowed business to only grant the straws upon customer request in 2019, the Post reported.
“I said, this is getting a little heated here,” said Biandudi. “I better get my camera ready in case somebody needs to know what happened.”
Soon after Biandudi pulled out her camera, Taylor leaned across the counter and grabbed the cashier. After an initial loss of balance, the employee punched the man several times until other employees broke the two apart.
The Post reported:
The customer points at her and shouts, ostensibly to someone he thinks is a manager, “Sir, I want her a — fired!”
This prompts the woman to retort, “No, you’re going to jail!” The man then screams more profanities at her.
At last, a McDonald’s employee tells the customer: “Sir, get outta here.”
A police affidavit revealed more violence that didn’t appear on Biandudi’s video. (RELATED: Disabled People Are Decrying The Plastic Straw Ban)
“The victim was kicked in the stomach by the defendant, and was complaining of pain,” the affidavit read, according to the Post. “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.”
Police later arrested Taylor, 40, after he had left the store, and charged him with two simple battery counts.
RELATED: VIOLENCE OVER STRAW BAN