When a mother spotted a group of teen girls in the children’s play area of her local McDonald’s, she asked them to leave. Instead, the teens got violent, threatening the mother. The ensuing melee was all caught on video.
Shauntee Smith, the mother of one of the teen girls involved in a disturbance inside a California McDonald’s, came forward to apologize for her daughter’s behavior after the girl was captured in a disturbingly violent video. But, the girls involved were quick to speak up, saying they aren’t the only ones to blame for the chaos that ensued.
According to CBS Los Angeles, the encounter began after a mother, who wishes to remain anonymous due to the violence she already faced, asked a group of teen girls to leave the play area of the Inland Empire McDonald’s in Moreno Valley. The unnamed 28-year-old mother’s 2- and 5-year-old daughters were playing in the fast-food restaurant’s clubhouse for kids when the mom spotted the teenage girls in the same area. Believing the teens were too old to be there, she asked them to leave.
Unfortunately, the girls, who have not been identified since they are minors, did not take kindly to the mother’s request. Instead, they turned violent and threated the mom who had asked them to leave. The teen girls were “telling me to get up and fight them, and I said, ‘I’m not gonna fight you,'” the mother recalled. When she refused to fight them, “They came and they threw cups of water and ice at us,” she said.
“They kept wanting to fight me, they all started hitting me, and my two little girls were crying,” the mom added. “My dad realized that they were on me, and he pulled me away,” she said, but it only got worse. The enraged teens began throwing drinks, shoving items off the counter, and throwing cups at other people, KNBC reported. They were also caught on camera hurling heavy objects at employees.
“I was about to get hit in the head,” Dexter Forbes Jr., an employee, told the local news. “They were throwing them pretty high, too, like they had no aim,” he furthered, adding that the teens even broke a monitor. According to the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department, nearly $2,000 worth of damage was caused during the incident, The Mercury News reported.
The mom said her dad chased the teens outside and held one of them while he called police, but she ran out and told him to let the girl go even as the girls allegedly struck her. “They were punching me the whole time,” she said, adding that she had asked the McDonald’s manager for help twice. When the manager failed to control the chaos, a man in a black sweater got the mother and her family behind the counter.
Forbes collaborated the mother’s story, saying the man in the black “was doing way more work than my manager was. He was making sure they were okay, he walked to the back with them.” Meanwhile, the employee was capturing it all on camera and posted several videos of the incident on social media. For that, he was allegedly suspended and later fired.
In the aftermath of the video going viral, Shauntee Smith, the mother of one of the girls, apologized. “We’re very remorseful,” she said. “We’re very embarrassed.” Smith and another mother took two of the girls to the police department to hold their daughters accountable for their actions and recorded it. “I was pretty upset, so I came down on her pretty hard when I seen it, and she was crying,” Smith recalled.
In an interview with CBS, the girls, who turned their heads away from the camera and covered them with hoodies, weren’t tearful. Instead, one of them said, “We were out of character, but it was for a cause,” claiming that the video doesn’t show that the fight only turned physical after the woman’s father allegedly grabbed one of the girls by the chest and hit her. One of the teens claimed that “he took off on her like she was his age” with the other girl adding, “like she was a man.”
“I feel like it was us and them,” one of the teens said. The mother who confronted the girls tells a different story, of course, saying the teens were the aggressors and denying that her father ever hit any of them. Although the girls claim to take some responsibility, they believe everyone involved should share the blame, decrying the fact that they are the only ones who were harassed with thousands of negative comments and insults.
“She’s still getting called ghetto, ratchet, it even got racial,” Shauntee Smith said. While racism is definitely uncalled for, perhaps Smith should be thankful that a few negative words are all her child faced since most would think charges are also warranted. These girls could have ended up with criminal records, but police confirmed that no arrests were made.
Even if the woman’s dad struck one of the teens, that doesn’t explain why the group threw items at the staff and destroyed the restaurant. While Smith’s daughter is facing criticism for those actions, two children were left traumatized and one employee is out of a job. It sounds like the teens got off lucky. Hopefully, the incident is used as a learning opportunity. There is a right way to handle troubling situations. Taking your rage out on innocent staff and destroying property is not how you do it.