5 Things to Know About McDonald’s Employee Yasmine James Who Defended Herself Against an Unruly Customer

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McDonald’s employee Yasmine James ended 2018 with a bang after duking it out with an unruly patron who assaulted her during a dispute over a plastic straw earlier this week. The Dec. 31 incident was caught on video and showed James, 20, delivering blow after blow to 40-year-old suspect Daniel Willis Taylor inside the St. Petersburg, Fla., restaurant.

Recalling the incident, James said Taylor grew enraged and started cursing her over the restaurant’s policy requiring customers to request plastic straws at the front. The young woman said she tried to no avail to defuse the situation. Before she knew it, 40-year-old Taylor had her by the collar.

“He just started flipping out and cursing me out,” James told Atlanta Black Star. “I was like, ‘You’re being rude. … Can you calm down?’ But he just kept cursing me out.”

James said she’s still employed by the fast food chain but is on leave and receiving worker’s compensation.

Here’s what you need to know about James:

McDonald's Incident
Daniel Taylor (right) is charged with simple battery after assaulting McDonald’s employee Yasmine James and then kicking another female employee in the stomach. (Images courtesy of Facebook / Pinellas County Police)

She Walked Away with Injuries After the Scuffle
James said she’s suffered a swollen thigh and back pains after her encounter with Taylor. She said her lack of health insurance has prevented her from seeking medical attention for her injuries. For the time being, James is icing her body and taking ibuprofen for the pain, but said she is still considering a trip to the hospital.

Her Fighting Skills Are A1
James had no trouble defending herself against the violent customer and was able to fight him off before her fellow employees stepped in. The young woman said she’s never been a professional boxer but has picked up a few pointers from relatives.

“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.”

Still, Another Employee Was Injured In the Melee
After his attack on James, a Pinellas County police report shows that Taylor assaulted another Black female employee as he was being thrown out of the McDonald’s. James confirmed this detail with ABS.

The police report states: “The defendant was a customer at McDonald’s, and the victim is an employee. The defendant was being escorted out of the business 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. There are several witnesses, and the incident was captured on video.”

James Is Lawyering Up
James is now mulling legal action against Taylor for the assault. She told ABS she recently met with a Florida law firm to discuss her case.

“I am going to sue him for putting his hands on me,” she said.

She Has Big Plans for the Future
James set out to work to fund her dreams of going to college. James, who’d been working at McDonald’s for two months prior to Monday’s incident, said she was saving up for a car and to go to school.

She wants to study nursing, she said. “I want to be an RN.”