A white man is facing charges after he apparently became furious that there were no straws available at a McDonald’s in St. Petersburg, Florida—and reached over the counter and grabbed a black female member of staff, who then swiftly pummeled him. A video of the incident shows Daniel Willis Taylor, 40, on New Year’s Eve screaming at 20-year-old employee Yasmine James about a drinking straw. He then reaches across the counter, grabs her uniform collar, pulls her toward him—but then James almost immediately gains the upper hand by grabbing Taylor’s collar and punching his face. “I want her ass fired right now,” Taylor is heard saying, with James replying: “No you’re [going] to jail ... You put your hands on me first.” St. Petersburg Police spokeswoman Sandra Bentil said: “There was an indication that he was under the influence of alcohol... There was a strong indication there that he was drunk.” Taylor was arrested on two misdemeanor charges of simple battery—on his way out of the restaurant he kicked another employee, Tateona Bell, 23, in the stomach. He was being held in the county jail late Wednesday in lieu of $1,000 bail. “My family, they know how to box,” James told Atlanta Black Star. “My big cousin used to box professionally… I just know how to fight. You know, I know how to protect myself.” To cut down on waste, St. Petersburg on Jan. 1 began enforcing a new policy that restaurants only provide straws to customers who request them.
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