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BY ALBERT AMATEAU | In the wake of another violent incident at the McDonald’s on W. Third St. near Sixth Ave., City Council Speaker Christine Quinn and neighborhood leaders on Monday called for a boycott of the place until the franchise engages Paid Detail police security.
Paid Detail involves off-duty New York Police Department officers working in uniform as private security.
Quinn, along with members of Community Board 2 and the Bleecker Area Merchants and Residents Association (BAMRA), passed out handbills calling for the boycott during the morning rush on March 26.
The latest incident at the location, on the east side of Sixth Ave., was during the early hours of March 17 when several young men brawled in front of the restaurant and a video of the fight was posted on YouTube.
Last October, Rayon McIntosh, a McDonald’s employee, was recorded on video beating two women who had jumped the counter to attack him. A grand jury found that McIntosh acted in self-defense and cleared him of assault charges. The two women were charged with assault.
A year ago, Damian Furtch, 26, was injured near the location in a beating that was said to be a gay bashing. Police arrested a suspect, 21, but did not charge him with a hate crime.
“The first thing this McDonald’s needs to do is engage better security through the Paid Detail option that our Police Department offers,” Quinn said.
The franchise owner, Carmen Paulino, said on Monday that a security guard has been on duty at night from Wednesday through Saturday since last summer. She did not respond to the demand for Paid Detail. Nevertheless, Paulino said that the safety of employees and customers is a priority.
However, a letter to Paulino signed by Quinn, Congressmember Jerrold Nadler, Assemblymember Deborah Glick and Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer called for an April 2 meeting with the franchise owner.
“As a business owner you have the responsibility to not only ensure your business continues to thrive, but to help insure the safety and well-being in and around the immediate area of your establishment,” the letter said, in part.
Brad Hoylman, chairperson of C.B. 2, said on Monday that McDonald’s management should be responsible for security both inside and in front of the place.
Hoylman said Board 2 is not technically on record calling for a boycott of the fast-food place.
“C.B. 2 passed a resolution just last week calling for McDonald’s to work with the precinct,” Hoylman said. “While we didn’t weigh in on a boycott, personally, I don’t think the community should support the McDonald’s at W. Third until they start acting like good neighbors by considering reducing their hours, hiring more security and working with the local precinct on addressing the spate of security concerns at this location. We appreciate Speaker Quinn’s and our other elected officials’ efforts in addressing this issue and look forward to meeting with McDonald’s representatives and the Sixth Precinct later this week.”