Last week, a woman was brutally beaten by a McDonald’s employee wielding a metal rod. The video is extremely disturbing. And it all stems from an argument involving fast food. But as details emerge about the incident, some are coming to the defense of the man. Let’s see if you agree.

First, a recap.

A woman in the Greenwich Village area of New York City was visiting her local McDonald’s when she became upset regarding her order and verbally lashed out at the man behind the counter. But she soon got violent, and things escalated when she slapped the cashier. That’s when all hell broke loose.

The women then jumped the counter as the man scurried to the back of the restaurant. He quickly appeared with a metal rod and begins beating the woman and her friend, who joins in the melee. The man can be seen continually swinging the rod as people plead with him to stop. He doesn’t. And the effects are devastating.

Spero News offers a detailed account:

The disturbing video shows the two women cursing at the cashier. After a commotion one of them slapped him. He hit back and ran to the back where the food is cooked and prepared. While he ran, the two women jumped the counter and ran towards him. He then reappered with a metal rod aloft in his hands and struck both of them. They immediately fell to the ground. One of them tried to crawl away. While she was crawling, he chased her and struck her as they pleaded for him to stop.

As they lay wounded on the floor, a customer in front of the counter was yelling for him to stop and a co-worker approached him and asked him to calm down. Then one of the wounded women tried to rise and he struck her twice. Another co-worker approached him and also asked him to calm down.

While the customer who filmed the video focused on the woman screaming for him to stop the assault, the cashier may have struck one of the wounded women two more times. The two co-workers again asked him to calm down and then were seen quickly backing away from him.

The video ends with the cashier, still holding the rod, looking over the women laying on the floor.

The New York Daily News reports the argument was specifically over a $50 bill.

Here’s a news report with the video included:

And here is slow-motion footage (content warning for graphic language and disturbing images):

“From what I understand, this guy just viciously beat my daughter,” the father of one of the victims told NBC.

And it was vicious. The woman who was targeted has severe injuries, including a partially-crushed skull. “She’s not out of the danger zone. She’s had some sever injuries. Her right arm is broken. The left side of her head was caved in pretty good.”

The woman has been identified as 24-year-old Denise Darbeau. Her mother said she’s currently suffering memory loss but is also being heavily sedated.

“Our concern is the background checks they do at McDonald’s,” the mother told the Daily News.

“I believe in second chances. But maybe they should not put people with violent backgrounds dealing with customers.”

The employee has been identified as 31-year-old Rayon Mcintosh, and he has a history of violence. How violent? He just finished serving a manslaughter sentence in May. The Daily News reports he served 10 years for shooting and killing a 17-year-old classmate in 2000. He’s currently on parole.

“I am extremely disturbed by the events captured on tape and am concerned for those injured,” the owner of the NYC McDonald’s said in a statement. “The actions of this individual are unacceptable and not characteristic of my employees. This individual no longer works for my organization.”

The second woman received only a laceration to her face.

Mcintosh has been charged with first and second degree assault. The two woman, including Darbeau, were charged with menacing, criminal trespass and disorderly conduct.

“We don’t know if she will recover,” Darbeau’s mother added. “We are just praying for her.”

But not everyone is piling on McIntosh. Some over at DNAInfo.com, which first broke the story, believe he was justified:

“I applaud McIntosh for defending himself. I hope the charges against him get dropped. I’ll bet those girls NEVER jump the counter again!” wrote Facebook user Ira Mills.

Others said while they don’t feel violence is normally the best way to resolve a situation, they think McIntosh acted appropriately in a difficult situation.

“I don’t condone violence, but I personally feel that they got what they deserved,” wrote Elsa Cirino. “He was defending himself. I would’ve have done the same thing if I saw two people coming towards me to attack me.”

“How in the world can you lock up a guy for defending himself,” asked Christopher Brooks.

What do you think?

(H/T: Buzzfeed)

This story has been updated with new information and to note those who have defended the employee.