Borough President Eric Adams is calling for more safe places for teenagers after a vicious beat down of a teenage girl in a McDonald's went viral. Adams said the video of the attack made him sick to his stomach.
“You come here to McDonald's to get a Big Mac,” Adams said. “Not to see someone get attacked.”
The video, which showed 15-year-old Ariana Taylor being attacked by six individuals, was shared across social media channels. After the video was made public, Adams offered a personal reward of $1,000 for any information leading to arrests. Police have since taken five suspects into custody.
In the wake of the incident, Adams and community leaders are now examining what is to be done for young people looking for a safe place to go after school or on their off-days. He said that trying to find a safe place at a fast food restaurant is unacceptable.
Adams said that he would work alongside community groups and leaders to develop more programs and find more funding to create safe recreation places for teens. He also said he will speak with school officials about keeping the doors to schools open longer.
“Public safety is not the job of people who grill hamburgers,” Adams said. “McDonald's did what was right. The question is, did we do what was right in government?”
At press time, the five arrested individuals are 16-year-old Aniah Ferguson, 16-year-old Mercedes Wilkinson, 17-year-old Tilani Marshall and a 14 and 15 year old who have turned themselves in, but their names have not been released by police as they are currently being charged as juveniles.