Arrest made in brutal, seemingly unprovoked attack on teen girl in Harbor City McDonald's

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Friday, September 29, 2023
Suspect arrested in brutal attack on teen in Harbor City McDonald's
The 13-year-old was attacked and beaten inside a Harbor City McDonald's on Sept. 6 apparently with little warning or provocation.

HARBOR CITY, LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- A suspect has been arrested for a seemingly unprovoked attack against a 13-year-old inside a Harbor City McDonald's, Los Angeles police say.

The Sept. 6 attack on the teen by an adult woman was captured in a now-viral video that triggered protests and calls for justice for 13-year-old Kassidy Jones. She said she had gone into the restaurant that day with some friends when she was attacked with little warning or interaction with the suspect.

The Los Angeles Police Department says public interest in the video of the attack led to multiple tips, which eventually led to the suspect.

On Thursday, detectives arrested Ariana Lauifi, 31, of Harbor City, and booked her for felony child abuse. The case is being sent to the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office for filing consideration.

Kassidy Jones told her mom that she was walking out of the restroom inside the restaurant that day when the woman seen in the video locked eyes with her. She said the woman seemed upset and said that she fights kids.

That's when the teenager says she was attacked for no reason. In the video, the adult woman is seen pulling Kassidy's hair, forcing her to the ground and hitting her multiple times.

Family members and community leaders are calling for justice after a 13-year-old was attacked and beaten inside a McDonald's that was captured in a now-viral video.

"My daughter is hurting emotionally. She can't sleep at night. She's bruised... She doesn't want to go to school because she's tired of the kids and everybody asking her what happened and making fun of her," said Angelina Gray, her mother.

Multiple people can be seen in the footage watching the attack. Eventually, one person jumped in to help.

"It wasn't a fight, it was a beating," she said during a press conference days after the attack.

The teen's mother also said at the time she was upset that McDonald's hadn't reached out to apologize.

After the arrest, the Jones family released a statement through a spokesman:

"The family of Kassidy Jones are extremely grateful that the LAPD has made an arrest of the woman who viciously beat Kassidy in an unprovoked attack inside McDonald's. As McDonald's managers and onlookers offered no help in stopping the assault.

Kassidy is still traumatized and undergoing therapy. But hopefully this news will give her encouragement that justice will be served. Kassidy deserves a break today."