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McDonald's Beating Victims to Accept Plea Deal for Probation, Lawyer Says

By Andrea Swalec | September 10, 2012 1:54pm

MANHATTAN — The two young women who jumped over the counter of a Greenwich Village McDonald's last fall and were beaten with a metal rod in a shocking incident caught on video are planning to plead guilty to felony burglary charges but won't serve jail time, their attorney said. 

Denise Darbeau and Rachel Edwards, both 25, have been offered five years probation from the Manhattan District Attorney in exchange for a guilty plea to third-degree burglary charges in the incident, said defense attorney Harold Baker, who represents both women. 

"We're trying to negotiate something a little bit better if we can," he said, declining to elaborate. 

A spokeswoman for the District Attorney refused to confirm Baker's account, saying the office's policy is to not discuss plea offers. 

Darbeau, of Queens, and Edwards, of Brooklyn, were initially charged with misdemeanor trespass after they vaulted over the counter of the West Third Street McDonald's early the morning of Oct. 13. A grand jury decided in December to increase the charges to burglary, a felony, because the women allegedly entered the restaurant with the intent to commit a crime. 

As DNAinfo.com New York first reported, staff cook Rayon McIntosh, 33, beat the women with a metal rod used to clean the restaurant's griddle, leaving Darbeau with a fractured skull and the need for 20 staples in her head, her family said. Edwards suffered a deep cut on her arm. 

McIntosh, who served more than a decade in prison on a manslaughter conviction, was initially charged with felony assault for beating the women and subsequently spent seven weeks in jail. 

The same grand jury that increased the charges against Darbeau and Edwards voted to dismiss the charges against McIntosh, saying they believed he acted in self-defense. 

According to witnesses and the video footage, Darbeau grew irate after a colleague of McIntosh checked the validity of the $50 bill she presented at the cash registered.

After demanding that her chicken be prepared "extra crispy," she allegedly verbally abused the fast-food cashier and slapped McIntosh in the face before she and Edwards both jumped over the counter. She was shouting racial slurs and threatening to "cut" McIntosh, he later said.

Darbeau and Edwards are due in Manhattan Supreme Court Wednesday.