Judge orders jail time for man who attacked a McDonald’s worker and got pummeled

Daniel Willis Taylor, whose attack on a fast food employee went viral, will serve 60 days in jail and pay a $1,000 fine. He also must stay away from the workers he punched and kicked.
Daniel Willis Taylor (left) was arrested Dec. 31 after a video showed him attacking a McDonald’s employee (right) in a dispute about plastic straws. The employee fought back in a video that went viral. He was sentenced this week to 60 days in jail, with 58 days of that time already served. [Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office / Kinie Biandudi]
Daniel Willis Taylor (left) was arrested Dec. 31 after a video showed him attacking a McDonald’s employee (right) in a dispute about plastic straws. The employee fought back in a video that went viral. He was sentenced this week to 60 days in jail, with 58 days of that time already served. [Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office / Kinie Biandudi]
Published March 7
Updated March 7

ST. PETERSBURG — The man caught on video pummeling a McDonald’s worker behind the counter was sentenced by a Pinellas County judge this week.

Daniel Willis Taylor, 40, pleaded no contest to two counts of battery. He was sentenced to 60 days in jail and credited with 58 days already served. The judge ordered him to stay away from the two women involved in the incident as well as the McDonald’s restaurant at 4595 34th St. S, where the attack occurred.

Taylor, who is listed as “transient” on court documents, is not only subject to a mental evaluation and treatment but also will have to pay $1,000 in fines or volunteer almost 120 hours of community service.

VIDEO: Man attacks employee at St. Pete McDonalds, gets pummeled

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One of the first viral videos of the new year showed Taylor irate around 6:50 p.m. Dec. 31 at the fast food restaurant after he couldn’t find a straw. The video then shows Taylor standing at the counter screaming at 20-year-old employee Yasmine James before reaching over the counter and yanking James by the collar.

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But James quickly gained the upper hand by grabbing Taylor’s collar with her left arm, pulling him to her end of the counter and then striking his face with her right hand.

James previously told the website Atlanta Black Star that she had boxing experience and knew how to protect herself.

Police said Taylor was escorted out of the restaurant, but on his way out kicked another employee, Tateona Bell, in the stomach while she stood by the door. The 23-year-old woman complained that she was hurt after Taylor kicked her, an arrest report said. That incident was not caught on video.

Initially, police said alcohol likely was a factor in the incident but court documents did not mention alcohol.

Contact McKenna Oxenden at moxenden@tampabay.com. Follow @mack_oxenden

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