The graphic images caught on tape of a male McDonald's cashier beating two aggressive female customers with a metal rod after they hopped over the counter to attack him, brought varying and heated reactions from the thousands who watched the video. Some felt that the McDonald's employee had every right to defend himself, others commented that he crossed the line after giving one of his attackers a beat-down so severe that her skull was partially-crushed. After 11 days of grand jury testimony, the justice system has ruled in favor of former McDonald's employee Rayon McIntosh, as he was cleared of all charges Friday stemming from the incident that occurred at a Greenwich Village McDonald's in October.
The New York Daily News reports that McIntosh was expected to be released from Rikers Friday night, where he has been jailed since October 21. The Daily News reports on Friday's ruling:
"A whoop of 'Hallelujah'” was heard in the courtroom after the announcement. A handful of relatives were present to hear the good news.
'They were trying to turn him into a monster, my son,' mom Maureen Lucas, a registered nurse from Rockland County, said as she sobbed with relief."
While he may have been acting in just selfdefense this past October, McIntosh is no angel. He began working the McDonald's job just after he finished serving 10 years for manslaughter after shooting and killing a 17-year-old classmate in 2000. He was on parole at the time of the attack.
The October incident was spurred after McIntosh checked to see if the $50 bill that the two enraged 24-year-old women attempted to pay their bill with was real. After first spitting and slapping at McIntosh, the two women hopped over the counter where they met the employee who had run to the back of the kitchen to get something to defend himself with. Cell phone video showed that McIntosh had grabbed a metal bar which used to repeatedly beat the unruly customers with. McIntosh's lawyer claimed that the employee feared for his life.
“He didn’t know if they had a weapon,” lawyer Theodore Herlich told the Daily News Friday. “They were saying, ‘We’re going to f--k you up.’ He thought they were saying, ‘We’re going to cut you up.’ I think the grand jury had a lot of sympathy for him based on the video, based on how the women were behaving.”
“He was at work. He wasn't looking for trouble,” Herlich said.
Now that McIntosh has been cleared of assault and weapons charges, the women who attacked him are waiting to hear from a grand jury that has not yet voted on the charges of criminal trespassing, menacing and disorderly conduct that the two women face.
The women's lawyer, Harold Baker, tells the Wall Street Journal that McIntosh is not innocent but a man with a history of violence who viciously attacked two unarmed victims.
"The tragedy here is that the only people facing prosecution are two women who were hospitalized after being brutally beaten by a convicted killer," Baker said. One of Baker's clients suffered a fractured skull, broken arm and neurological damage, and the other injuries that included a serious cut to her face.