Earlier this week, a video of a man attacking a McDonald’s employee went viral on social media. Days following the incident, Yasmine James, the employee attacked in the video has spoken out.

According to 10 News WTSP, Yasmine, 20, said she started working at the McDonald’s in St. Petersburg three months ago. On Monday, a customer was seen on video getting aggressive with her after she informed him that he had to ask for a straw. As seen in the video, the customer, later identified as Daniel Taylor, started to yell at Yasmine and attack her.

Yasmine said, “He grabbed me and that really scared me because I didn’t know if he had a gun or a knife or what. When he grabbed me, my main thing was to get him off of me the best way I knew. Just let me go.” As a teenager, Yasmine learned how to box and she used her skills to fight off the customer as her co-workers stood by.

She said that her manager didn’t come to her rescue, but she doesn’t blame him because she claims they’ve never received proper training to deal with outrageous customers. All of which is why she thinks McDonald’s needs to improve employee safety and train managers to de-escalate similar situations.

“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,” said Yasmine.

As we previously reported, Daniel Taylor was arrested for the attack and charged with two counts of simple battery. Yasmine’s attorney’reportedly want the charges elevated to felony battery.

For now, she is taking a leave of absence because she is not comfortable with being “paranoid” and “scared” at her workplace.

In a statement released on Thursday, McDonald’s said, “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.”


Check out Yasmine’s interview below:



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