A New Jersey woman is speaking out after a video of her being beaten by a McDonald’s employee in front of her toddler son went viral. The woman says the incident happened over a joke that the assailant took far more seriously than the victim intended.
Salem resident Catherine Ferreira, 27, spoke with the South Jersey Times about the assault, which she says happened after she visited a McDonald’s she once worked to speak with some friends weeks ago. During the visit, she made a joke that the alleged assailant, LaTia Harris, 25, and a McDonald’s manager were a couple.
Ferreira claims Harris stalked her via phone for weeks over the joke, which led to the beating assault on Tuesday in front of her 2-year-old son, Xzavion Ortiz. Harris was on duty at the fast food restaurant and Ferreira was walking home on a path behind the building when Harris went on the offensive. The boy tried to get Harris to stop hitting his mother, and was the only person among all the videotaping bystanders to intervene in the assault.
From South Jersey Times:
“I have to wake up like this now,” Ferreira said. “I have school to go to and all of this over a fight … and the fight is over stupidity — nothing is worth any of this. No job, no guy is worth any of this … she really did a number on me. For nothing. Over nothing.”
Ferreira suffered a broken nose, limited vision in her left eye and several contusions. Harris also threatened to shoot Ferreira during the beating. Although the bystanders did nothing to aid her, Ferreira said she doesn’t want the public blaming them as they were just “kids” and not “monsters” for standing around.
Salem police are searching for Harris, who has not reported back to work as of Thursday. They are seeking to charge Harris with aggravated assault and for making terroristic threats.
Hit the jump to see the video. A warning: the clip features physical violence.