Quantcast

'Ringleader' of Viral McDonald's Gang Brawl Gets 4 Years in Prison, DA Says

 A video captured a wild brawl at a Flatbush McDonald's on March 13, 2015.
A video captured a wild brawl at a Flatbush McDonald's on March 13, 2015.
View Full Caption
Youtube

DOWNTOWN BROOKLYN — A teen accused of being the ringleader of a brutal brawl in a Flatbush Avenue McDonald's in 2015 will spend four years in prison after violating the terms of a plea deal that mandated mental-health treatment in lieu of jail time.

Aniah Ferguson, 18, was sentenced on Friday to four years in prison after a judge found she had failed to finish a court-ordered mental-health treatment program as part of an original plea deal, according to a spokesman for the Brooklyn District Attorney's office.

Ferguson had originally pleaded guilty to felony gang assault and admitted to brutally stomping another girl in a McDonald’s in Flatbush on March 13, 2015,  in a vicious brawl that went viral after being captured on video. 

In exchange, she was offered the chance to get treatment for mood and behavior disorders at August Aichhorn Center for Adolescent Residential Care in Morningside Heights, where she was ordered to stay indefinitely with a suspended sentence of up to 15 years hanging over her head, according to a DA spokesman

But her repeated outbursts and violent attacks on staff and patients at the facility led Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice Dineen Riviezzo to toss out the second chance she had given Ferguson, according to the Daily News, which first reported the sentencing.

“I did believe she could change ... but over and over again, she’d write a letter apologizing, go back in and act out again. The same day she was in court, she set something at the facility on fire,” Riviezzo said in court on Friday, according to the Daily News.

"I wish you the best of luck, I sincerely do. Don't give up on yourself, but you have to want this for yourself," she added.

Ferguson’s lawyer, Legal Aid attorney Nancy Ginsburg, pleaded with Riviezzo to take into account her client’s mental health issues, and said she was a model student in school, according to news reports.

Ginsburg did not respond to a request for comment.

Ferguson was originally arrested days after the March 13 assault at the McDonald’s at 943 Flatbush Ave., along with five other girls accused of ganging up on another teen in a brutal assault that drew condemnation from Borough President Eric Adams, among others.

The brawl was not her first brush with the law — On Sept. 22, 2014, Ferguson punched a woman in the ear and the back of the neck, according to the NYPD.

On Sept. 28 of that year, police slapped Ferguson with petty larceny charges after they say she stole three watches from a friend.

And on Oct. 14, 2014, Ferguson beat up her grandmother, according to police. After that arrest, she violated an order of protection that her grandmother had against her twice after, accounting for two more arrests, police said.

Her problems continued when she arrived at the Morningside Heights mental health facility for treatment, throwing tables, assaulting other patients and staff, and threatening to set the building on fire, according to news reports.

That misbehavior got her sent to Rikers in November, and she was charged once more with two counts of felony assault for a Jan. 18 incident, records show. She’s due back in court for that case on June 14.