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Beaten to Death at McDonald’s

David Paulin, American Thinker

WardBaileyTo the four clean-cut college freshman out on a double date, it had seemed like a typical McDonald’s: spanking clean, well-lighted, and safe. It was in a good neighborhood too, right next to Texas A&M University in College Station–a campus known for its friendly atmosphere and official down-home greeting: “howdy.”

Shortly after 2 A.M. that Sunday, they pulled into the parking lot of so-called “University McDonald’s” and beheld a scene unlike anything portrayed in all those wholesome McDonald’s television commercials. Before them, hundreds of young black males were loitering about, some without shirts.

Other local residents–the more cynical and world-weary, both whites and most blacks–would have taken one look at the crowd and driven off, dismissing many of the young and posturing black males as thugs. But not them: innocent white kids from the suburbs. They presumed this was post-racial America–and that they were in an easy-going college town.

Twenty minutes later, two of them were dead.

Incredibly, the race of the assailants was scrubbed from local news coverage; and utterly missing from tersely written wire-service stories about a Brazos County jury’s whopping $27 million negligence verdict on July 30 against “University McDonald’s”–an outlet owned by the Oak Brook, Illinois-based fast-food giant. What the media considered unmentionable nevertheless loomed over a riveting seven-day trial, which came amid the growing phenomenon of black-on-white violence–unprovoked attacks on whites and black mob violence like the so-called “knock-out game.”

 

Chris Hamilton, lead lawyer of the small Dallas firm that humbled the corporate giant, was asked, during a phone interview, how many reporters had even bothered to inquire about the race of the assailants during the many interviews he gave.

“You’re the only one,” he replied.

-snip-

Beaten to Death

For the two young couples, the evening had started at a country-western concert at “Hurricane Harry’s” in College Station’s entertainment district; and afterward, just after 2 a.m. on Sunday, February 18, 2012–a quick trip to nearby “University McDonald’s” as it’s widely known.

Parking his Toyota 4Runner, Denton James Ward, age 18, stepped down from the big SUV with Tanner Giesen, then 19 years old. The two friends from Flower Mound, an affluent Dallas suburb, headed to the McDonald’s bathroom; Ward wore his cowboy hat. The girls, Lauren Bailey Crisp and Samantha Bean, both 19, took the SUV to the drive-through.

Both inside and out, University McDonald’s was bustling. But it definitely wasn’t the usual daytime crowd –– clean-cut and mostly white “Aggies” as A&M’s students are known. Instead, up to 400 black males were loitering about the parking lot, a police officer later estimated. Inside, it was mostly a black crowd too: a large number of black males were loitering about, many without food. Some were shirtless.

This was the usual after-midnight crowd on Saturdays and Sundays at the 24-hour McDonald’s. And unbeknownst to the two couples–and many in College Station–this McDonald’s was a major late-night trouble spot.

Police were constantly responding to late-night fights, assaults, and disturbances among huge crowds that were mostly black–a problem one top police official called a “drain on resources.” Most of the reported incidents, some 200 in the three years preceding Ward and Crisp’s deaths, involved black-on-black violence by gang bangers and, according to one police officer, members of black college fraternities. One police report described an unidentified man’s head getting bashed against a curb. White patrons appeared to be especially susceptible and at risk–and when they were attacked, the blows were particularly vicious. The hours of 2-to-3 A.M. on Saturdays and Sundays were especially volatile, with at least a dozen fights and assaults reported during those hours in the year preceding these deaths.

For Ward and Giesen, the trouble started seconds after exiting McDonald’s front door. “You’re in the wrong neck of the woods, cowboys,” Giesen recalled a young black male saying.

Unwittingly, they’d blundered into a highly-charged situation. Shortly before they’d arrived, two black males had gotten into a loud argument inside the restaurant. A gun was brandished. But manager Lindsey Ives, a black woman, didn’t call the police. She told the men to take their dispute outside.

In an instant, a bloodthirsty mob was upon them.

A fist slammed into Giesen’s face. Ward tried to break-up the altercation, according to trial testimony. Instead, he suffered a brutal mob stomping lasting several minutes. Some 20 young black males closed in–mercilessly kicking and punching his head and body and even jumping on him after he fell to the ground, witnesses said. Giesen was knocked unconscious.

An athletic young man–5-foot-6 and 163 pounds–Ward had a handsome face framed by a mop of rusty brown hair. But after the beating, one witness–a retired U.S. Marine and one of a few white customers–said Ward’s face was “really messed up”; was “broken” and “mushy” and “just did not look natural.”

Bean and Crisp, both 19, rounded the corner of the drive-through to see the mob stomping. The horrified and frightened young women jumped out of the SUV screaming for it to stop. Crisp, Ward’s girlfriend, even rushed into the melee, according to trial testimony. Blood poured from Ward’s face. Some nearby good-Samaritans, including a few black females, helped the frantic teens lift their dates into the 4Runner’s back seat; Ward was unable to speak or walk. Danisha Stern, a trial witness, then told them to “get out of there . . . it’s not safe.”

Immediately, the terrified girls took that advice–rather than waiting for police. Bean, Giesen’s date, took the wheel with Crisp occupying the front passenger seat. Speeding away, Bean made a frantic across-town dash for an emergency room. She worried somebody from the McDonald’s mob might follow and run her off the road.

Ward was drifting in and out of consciousness. Blood was everywhere. Fearing he was slipping away, Crisp frantically climbed into the back seat, kneeling on the floorboard to do what she could–pushing him back into his seat when he slumped forward. They had been dating three months. The girls were “freaking out,” Giesen recalled. “I remember lots of screaming and yelling going on.”

-snip-

Playing the race card

It was Plucky who introduced the word “nigg-r” into the case. After his arrest, he told police that seconds before Ward and Giesen were attacked, somebody had said “nigg-r.” But he admitted he didn’t know who’d uttered the epithet, or even if the person was black or white. During the trial, he changed his story, claiming Giesen had uttered the epithet. But Giesen denied using a racial slur and identified Plucky as the person who’d remarked, “You’re in the wrong neck of the woods, cowboys.”

Interestingly, Plucky got a job with a McDonald’s supplier, Mid-South Baking Company in Byran, Texas, three months before the trial–and before his epiphany that Giesen was the person who’d said “nigg-r.”

-snip-

The media’s handling of this case was no surprise: political correctness rules in America’s newsrooms. But imagine a hypothetical crime: two clean-cut black couples go into University McDonald’s during the daytime–and are viciously attacked by a mob of whites. An international media circus undoubtedly would erupt. Big-time journalists from all over the world would descend on College Station to deal with the deplorable state of America’s race relations caused by bigoted whites. President Obama would weigh in with a few comments about America’s racial sins; and Attorney General Eric Holder–just as with the Ferguson disturbances–would travel to College Station, where Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton would be leading protest marches.

But the narrative they’re promoting is false.

It obscures where most of the hate is coming from. Crime statistics have long reveled the real problem: high levels of black-on-black violence, followed by black-on-white violence, and mob attacks–and the latter two phenomena have been on the increase at an alarming rate, underscoring deep pathologies in a growing black-thug subculture–even as liberals in the mainstream media and Washington are unwilling to acknowledge this fact.

The late Ray Kroc, the legendary McDonald’s entrepreneur and CEO, must be rolling over in his grave over what’s happening. The hood has expanded its turf in the America he loved–and now even hangs out under the Golden Arches.

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