JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The manager of the McDonald's on St. Johns Bluff Road at Beach Boulevard seen hitting a customer on video that has gone viral wants the customer and everyone who has seen the video to know she is sorry.
Video shot by a customer shows Ciarrea Williams walking from behind the counter and hitting the woman has been seen thousands of times on social media, but Williams wanted people to hear her side of the story. She said the video doesn't show the customer's unruly actions that caused her to take action.
Williams said the woman in the video became frustrated over the time it took to get her food order. She said that frustration turned to verbal insults toward both her and her staff. She said her comments even turned racial, saying the McDonald's employees "need to be standing in the Section 8 line in the morning.”
“I turned around to say that’s it because I had other customers waiting. 'I draw the line, because you’re cursing and using profanity at me and my co-workers.' And I said, 'Ma'am, I’ll give you a refund, give you your food and you can still have a nice day.'"
She said at that point, the woman threw two drinks at her.
“The first one (a hot drink) that was thrown, the cup flew this way. It didn’t hit me. The second one was a Coke."
She said the second drink did hit her and left her drenched and humiliated in front of her co-workers and other customers. That's where the video shot by a customer began, showing her coming from behind the counter and physically confronting the woman.
Williams reflects on what it was like to take action.
“At that moment, no one can tell you what it feels like at that moment. It was more-so embarrassment, because I was still nice to her. I gave it my all and I stayed professional, even with her calling me every name in the book.”
This video has embarrassed Williams and she says she wishes there could have been a different outcome.
“It’s embarrassing," Williams said. “I would like to apologize to my head boss, which is my store owner, my co-workers, my team, my family and my kids."
Williams has worked for McDonald's for more than seven years. As of Friday night, Williams is still employed, but she doesn’t know for how long because the company is investigating the incident.
She said this is the first time she’s had to deal with this kind of situation and she hopes it will be the last.