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McDonald's Beating Victims Avoid Jail Time for Role in Brawl

By Andrea Swalec | September 12, 2012 2:27pm

MANHATTAN — The two women who jumped over the counter of a Greenwich Village McDonald's last year and were beaten with a metal rod in a shocking incident caught on video pleaded guilty Wednesday in exchange for reduced charges.

Originally facing a charge of burglary for the incident at the West 3rd Street McDonald's early the morning of Oct. 13, Denise Darbeau, 25, pleaded guilty to a lesser charge of attempted burglary in the third degree. She is expected to be sentenced Nov. 7 to five years probation.

Rachel Edwards, who had also been charged with burglary, pleaded guilty to criminal trespass in the third degree and was sentenced to 10 days community service. 

Darbeau and Edwards' attorney, Harold Baker, said his clients were satisfied with the agreement. 

"We're pleased that they were spared the trauma of possible jail time," he said. "They both recognized that their behavior that night was not entirely appropriate and are trying to put this horrible experience behind them and move on with their lives." 

Cook Rayon McIntosh, who beat the women in the restaurant, said he thought the court's ruling was "appropriate." 

"I didn't want them to go to jail. I'm not angry at them," he said. "I'm hoping these two young ladies learn something from this and stay on the right path."

According to witnesses and the video footage, the incident began when Darbeau grew irate after a colleague of McIntosh, 33, 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 cashier and slapped him 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.

McIntosh 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. 

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. 

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.