McDonald’s Cashier Cleared of Charges in Beating Incident That Went Viral

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Jin Lee / Bloomberg / via Getty

A McDonald's restaurant in New York.

Rayon McIntosh, who was involved in an October melee in which he was videotaped beating two assailants with a steel rod in the New York McDonald’s where he worked, has been freed and cleared of all charges against him.

The former cashier was freed from the city’s correctional facility at Rikers Island on Friday after 11 days of grand jury testimony in his case. McIntosh, a 31-year-old ex-con reportedly working a fast food job to get his life together, first got in trouble Oct. 13, when two women, Denise Darbeau and Rachel Edwards, each 24, tried to pay for their food with a $50 bill.

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When McIntosh inspected the bill, the two jumped behind the counter and attacked him, then chased him to the back of the store. He defended himself by wielding the rod and beating his assailants with it. The incident was captured with an unknown customer’s camera phone and went viral, sparking a debate on what is acceptable self-defense. But it also garnered wide support for McIntosh, who was seen by many as the victim. (Warning: The video, obviously, features violent content.)

Darbeau suffered a fractured skull in the fight, and Edwards was cut on her arm. McIntosh was arrested and charged with assault, and the two women are still facing criminal trespass charges and have yet to face a grand jury.

But, now freed of the charges against him, McIntosh, who was fired from the McDonald’s, told DNAInfo.com that he may sue the restaurant chain for failing to ensure his safety.  “We were begging them to get security,” McIntosh said by phone early Saturday morning. “The McDonald’s itself is a problematic store. It has a high, concentrated number of people every day,” he said.

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