Editor’s note: This article has been updated to include a previous statement from the McDonald’s franchisee.
LOS ANGELES – The mother of a 13-year-old girl who was attacked by a woman inside a Harbor City McDonald’s is suing the suspect and the restaurant, her attorney announced on Friday.
Video captured the incident on Sept. 6 when police say Ariana Lauifi, 32, punched and kicked Kassidy Jones in front of many witnesses and McDonald’s staff near the order counter.
Her attacker only stopped when a man she was with pulled her away, the video shows.
Jones was bloodied and suffered bruises to her face. The family’s attorney, Toni Jaramilla, says she also suffered “long-lasting emotional injury.”
Lauifi was arrested several weeks later and faces charges of felony child abuse.
“McDonald’s had a duty to provide a safe environment for its customers and on that day they failed utterly,” Jaramilla told reporters at a news conference in front of the McDonald’s, located at 1728 Lomita Blvd. “No one in this community, especially children, should have to worry about going into McDonald’s and being beaten.”
Jaramilla said the attack was unprovoked and Lauifi had been acting aggressively toward other patrons inside the crowded restaurant. She claims restaurant staff did not come to Kassidy’s aid and implied that no employees called 911 – an assertion the restaurant’s franchisee denies.
“We were horrified to learn about this violent attack, and our thoughts are with Kassidy and her family,” Tawnie Blade said in a statement in September. “Employees called police when the fight began, and we worked closely with local law enforcement to help with their investigation.”
The civil lawsuit, which is expected to be filed Monday, seeks an unspecified amount in damages.
A large color photo of Kassidy’s injured face was displayed at the news conference which was attended by the young victim and her mother, Angelina Gray.
“I’m heartbroken about what happened, and I just pray that justice be served,” Gray said.