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McDonald's customer-worker fight over straw caught on video

A man is under arrest after, authorities say, he grabbed the shirt of a Florida McDonald's employee and tried to pull her over a counter on New Year's Eve. The employee responded by punching the customer several times in the face at the St. Petersburg restaurant.

A witness who posted video on Facebook said the fight started when the customer asked for a straw. The reason he got angry wasn't clear.  

St. Petersburg police said the video shows Daniel Taylor, 40, grabbing the shirt of Yasmine James, 20. James fights him off while managing to deliver multiple punches to and near his face.

After the attack, the suspect points his finger at the worker demanding she be fired as a manager finished preparing the customer's order.

"I want her ass fired right now," the suspect says in the video as a manager reads his receipt while other workers clean the mess from the fight. 

"You're fixing to go to jail," the employee responds.

Taylor kept screaming at workers while he was being escorted out by McDonald's management and he kicked another employee who was standing near the door in the stomach, police said.

A short time later, there was a report of an unarmed robbery at a Shell station, says CBS Tampa affiliate WTSP-TV. When officers arrived, they recognized Taylor from the video and arrested him. 

Police said Taylor was charged with two counts of simple battery for grabbing James and for kicking the other worker.

Taylor is white and James is black.

Starting this year, anyone who wants a plastic straw in St. Petersburg has to ask for one, WTSP notes. Next year, plastic straws will be banned there altogether.

Taylor is being represented by the public defender's office, which didn't respond to a request for comment.

"Our highest priority is always the safety and well-being of our employees and customers at our restaurants. We have been in contact with the police department and are fully cooperating with their investigation," McDonald's said in a statement. 

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