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Live-Stream Video Helps Cops Keep Eye on Troubled McDonald's

By Andrea Swalec | April 23, 2012 7:10am
The West Third Street McDonald's was the site of violent incidents in May and October 2011, as well as March 2012.
The West Third Street McDonald's was the site of violent incidents in May and October 2011, as well as March 2012.
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DNAinfo/Andrea Swalec

SOHO — Smile for the McCamera.

The West Third Street McDonald's where three violent incidents have occurred in the past year is now equipped with new technology allowing police to monitor surveillance cameras at the fast-food joint from afar, police revealed at a community meeting.

The security measure adopted in the last month at the eatery near Sixth Avenue follows calls by Village residents, elected officials and police for the McDonald's to ramp up security in the wake of a St. Patrick's Day fight caught on video

"They have given Internet access to our officers, to their video cameras, so we can see directly into McDonald's from our computers," said Sixth Precinct commanding officer Deputy Inspector Brandon del Pozo, who called the upgrade "positive," at a meeting last week.

Del Pozo, who previously suggested McDonald's adopt security tactics similar to those used by rowdy bars, said the location has also removed its first-floor seating at night and hired two new private security officers.

On March 26, City Council Speaker Christine Quinn called for a boycott of the restaurant until management hired off-duty NYPD officers.

Franchise owner Carmen Paulino said Friday she has applied to get officers to patrol the restaurant.

"[Police and I] are working together to ensure the ongoing safety of the community," she said in a statement. "The safety of my employees and customers is my first priority."

The St. Patrick's Day brawl followed two previous instances of violence. Last October, McDonald's worker Rayon McIntosh was caught on video using a metal rod to beat two women who had jumped over the counter to attack him.

McIntosh was initially charged with assault and weapons possession, but a grand jury cleared him after finding he had acted in self-defense. The two women have since been indicted on unrelated burglary charges.

Also, last March, Damian Furtch, 26, suffered facial injuries in an alleged gay-bashing incident outside the restaurant. Police arrested a 21-year-old man for the attack, but he was not charged with a hate crime.