By Sonja Sharp and Andrea Swalec
MANHATTAN — The Greenwich Village McDonald's cook cleared of felony assault charges for beating two unruly female customers said he was pleased Thursday to hear that a grand jury voted to indict the women on burglary charges and said that they should learn "respect."
"I hope when they come home [from jail] they go about life with respect because you can't treat people like that," Rayon McIntosh, 31, said of Denise Darbeau and Rachel Edwards, who hopped over a counter at the West Third Street fast food joint in October to allegedly attack him.
"I would say to go about your life with respect, just like you would like to get respect. The best resolution is for all of us to learn something from this, to value our freedom and to respect others."
Still, McIntosh — who was locked up for 48 days in the case and spent 11 years in jail for manslaughter — said that while he wanted Darbeau and Edwards, both 24, to be punished if they are convicted, he did not want them to face time behind bars.
"I'm going to tell you the truth. I don't want no one to go to jail because I know what it feels like to be away from your loved ones," McIntosh, 31, told DNAinfo after the women were indicted.
The father of an 11-year-old girl will be spending his first Christmas with his family since he was convicted of killing a friend during a confrontation in 2000.
McIntosh was released from prison on the manslaughter charge in March and was arrested again in October for the McDonald's incident.
"This is my first Christmas home," he said. "I missed my first Thanksgiving because of the [McDonald's] incident."
McIntosh was charged with felony assault after being caught on cellphone camera beating Darbeau and Edwards with a metal rod on Oct. 13, as first reported by DNAinfo.
Darbeau, who suffered a fractured skull in the incident, and Edwards, who received a deep cut on her arm, were initially charged with misdemeanor trespass, but it was announced Thursday that they were indicted on felony burglary charges because prosecutors said they entered the fast food restaurant with the intent to commit a crime, their lawyer said. They're due back in court Jan. 11.
The women's defense attorney, Harold Baker, called the indictment "ridiculous."
Darbeau, Edwards and their families declined to comment in court Thursday.
McIntosh, who was freed from jail on Dec. 2, thanked the person who used his or her cellphone to tape the incident and posted it to YouTube. He said the video helped set him free.
"They say a picture is worth a thousand words," he said. "Well, a picture and sound is worth a million."