It should be pretty well understood that when you get soda from a soda fountain at a fast food restaurant, you need to pay for it. And trying to use a water cup to swipe soda isn’t going to fly with the management.
One woman learned her lesson the hard way after allegedly trying to do just that at a McDonald’s. The woman, who has not been publicly identified, can be seen in a video shot by Instagram user Marie Dayag, whose Instagram name is bxbyness. (Warning, the linked video is very graphic). According to Dayag, the manager shut down the soda machine because the woman tried to get soda with her water cup.
Things really escalated from there. The woman and an employee can be seen arguing over what appears to be a disagreement about paying for the soda before the customer throws a french fry at the employee. In a second video, the customer throws a milkshake at the employee and then hits the employee in the head with a tray.
The employee then charges at the customer, grabs her by the hair, and starts punching her. At one point, the customer is also thrown on a table before she’s subdued.
This is the second time in a week that a restaurant employee was caught on camera physically taking down an unruly customer. Recently, CCTV footage captured 21-year-old waitress Emelia Holden throwing a man to the ground after he grabbed her backside. The man was later arrested.
Although the McDonald’s employee was attacked first, responding in a similar style really isn’t advised when it comes to any escalating situation, self-defense expert Gabrielle Rubin tells Yahoo Lifestyle. “I believe it is best to try and avoid anything physical,” she says. “First and foremost, you should protect yourself but never initiate or retaliate. You don’t know if they have a weapon, have friends with them, or have training in fighting.”
If you’re in a situation that’s escalating, Rubin recommends using your voice to try to calm the other person, yelling for help, or yelling for the person to stop. If the person starts attacking you from a distance but hasn’t laid hands on you, it’s smart to try to move away and, again, use your voice to try to stop the attack. “Put your hands up to not only protect yourself but to create a barrier,” she says, adding that a nonverbal gesture like this sometimes can get through to someone who isn’t hearing you.
Above all, it’s important to do what you can to try to calm down the situation, if you can. “You never want any situation to escalate. It will only get worse,” Rubin says. “Don’t go to their level; try to bring them down.” That means speaking in a calm voice if the person is yelling, and keeping yourself in check if someone is trying to start a physical fight, although that can be easier said than done.
“It’s hard to not mimic behavior; meaning, if someone attacks you, it’s normal for you to want to turn around and respond physically,” Rubin says. “You have a right to protect yourself, but it didn’t start out physical. If hands are not on you, it’s best to avoid getting physical. Just get away from them.”
When you can, call for help or have someone around you do the same, Rubin says. And, when police arrive, be specific about what happened.