A McDonald’s in St. Petersburg, Florida was the scene of a fight between a customer and employee after a misunderstanding about straws.
The New Year’s Eve brawl ended with the customer being arrested around 6:50 p.m. on two counts of simple battery, according to WFLA Tampa.
The misunderstanding began when the customer, Daniel Taylor, began to yell at the employees for not offering straws at the counter, according to BuzzFeed News.
The incident was recorded by Brenda Biandudi who told BuzzFeed that Taylor became furious after not finding straws with the other condiments.
“It was all over a straw,” she said. “He yelled at the employees, ‘There’s no drinking straws here, it looks like someone is not doing their job.'”
An employee, Yasmine James, then tried to explain that a new law in the city banned plastic straws.
The new law will ban straws entirely by 2020, but currently, they are unavailable unless specifically requested by the customer, according to the Tampa Bay Times.
“He was very upset, he started berating her, swearing, saying ‘There’s no law like that,'” Biandudi said, according to BuzzFeed. “She said, ‘Yes it is, we’re not allowed to put straws out.'”
That explanation was apparently unacceptable to Taylor, who reached across the counter and grabbed James by the shirt.
James fought back until the pair were separated by other employees.
Taylor, who was under the influence of alcohol, said “I want her a– fired,” according to BuzzFeed.
“No, you’re going to go to jail,” an employee replied.
Police were called to the scene and Taylor was arrested. However, on his way out the door, Taylor kicked another employee, Tateona Bell, in the stomach as she held the door for Taylor to be escorted out.
McDonald’s released a statement to WFLA, reiterating that safety is their “highest priority.”
“Our highest priority is always the safety and well-being of our employees and customers at our restaurants,” McDonald’s said, according to WFLA. “We have been in contact with the police department and are fully cooperating with their investigation.”
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