Beaten to Death at McDonald’s

David Paulin, an Austin, TX-based freelance journalist, covered Hugo Chavez's rise to power while based in Caracas as a foreign correspondent. He also reported from the Caribbean while based in Kingston, Jamaica.


10458903_738854912845431_4710111679892857780_n_thumbIt had seemed to the four clean-cut college freshman that night 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”

Out on a double date, the two couples pulled into the parking lot of so-called “University McDonald’s” shortly after 2 a.m. that Sunday – 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.

Race, of course, was irrelevant to the high-stakes negligence trial that revolved around McDonald’s lack of on-site security and corporate responsibility. Yet shortly before the trial, Hamilton hinted at the issue of race – suggesting that two very different worlds were colliding at University McDonald’s during its after-midnight hours – a mix that was potentially volatile. The trial, he told a local television reporter, was not only about seeking justice for his clients — but about the public’s need “to know what’s really going on at McDonald’s: what the risks are; what the dangers are of sending your kids there, particularly after midnight.”

His extensive pretrial investigation – numerous depositions, pathology reports, and an in-depth analysis of police records – told a story that was heartbreaking and infuriating, and that until the trial had remained largely out of pubic view as the case was handled by College Station Police, Brazos County District Attorney Jarvis Parsons, and an asleep-at-the-wheel news media.

Apart from legal arguments over alleged corporate negligence, the high-profile trial offered a shocking view of how a thuggish black subculture flourished at University McDonald’s. The blame could be laid squarely upon McDonald’s black managers, and on the failure of higher-ups in McDonald’s to ensure patrons, both black and white, were safe during late-night hours – an increasingly lucrative market for the fast-food giant.

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 Ward and Crisp’s 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 didn’t call the police. She told the men to take their dispute outside.

In an instant, a bloodthirsty mob was upon the college students.

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, 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.”

Then – about 10 minutes after speeding away from University McDonald’s – Bean ran a red light. The 4Runner was hit broadside by a Chevy Silverado pick-up — then spun violently and crashed into a light pole. Ward and Crisp were pronounced dead at the scene; Bean and the Silvarado’s five occupants were uninjured. Police initially thought Ward and Crisp had died in the crash, and they had considered charging Bean. But pathologists at the negligence trial, both for the plaintiffs and McDonald’s, agreed Ward was beaten to death – the fatal kicks and punches delivered to the lower back of his head and chin.

The mob at McDonald’s grew into a frenzy after the couples fled. A police officer arriving at the scene, five minutes later, grabbed his AR-15 rifle when he stepped out of his patrol car – fearing he was amid a full-blown riot. It was, he recalled, like “scenes that we have seen multiple times at that McDonald’s.”

Crisp, a dark-haired beauty from Dripping Springs, a suburb of Austin, wanted to be a nurse. She was a biology major at Blinn College as was Bean, a resident of College Station. Ward, also a student at the junior college, was set to transfer to Texas A&M the next year to study industrial engineering. He had an all-American background in high school: letters in football and baseball; Little League umpire; and a member of the Fellowship of Christian athletes. He and Crisp were from large families.

Giesen was briefly treated at an emergency room; his abdomen bore a boot print. He now suffers bouts of amnesia due to brain trauma.

In College Station, nobody dared to ask if a “hate crime” had possibly occurred. But Stern, the black good-Samaritan, testified that the black mob had piled on Ward in part because he was white; or as she explained: “He was trying to save his friend or stop the attacks…targeted at his friend. And he was a white male so I guess any — anything that was — anybody that was not helping the fight, like, adding to the injury or whatever, was seen as an opponent or something, you know.”

Police made only one arrest, charging Marcus Jamal Jones – known to friends as “Plucky” — in the mob attack. Without outdoor security cameras and uncooperative witnesses, it was no doubt hard to make a case. Last March, “Plucky” pleaded guilty to misdemeanor assault and served a 90-day jail sentence.

Minutes after the mob attack, the 6-foot-2 Plucky entered the McDonald’s without a shirt. “We was fight’en,” he was heard to say. Earlier in the evening, he’d said he was looking for a fight, witnesses reported.

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 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.”

Why was University McDonald’s so popular among black gang bangers and black fraternity members? Carlos Butler, the outlet’s black general manager, could take credit for that. An aspiring hip-hop artist, he hosted large hip-hop concerts attracting some 1,500 people — and after those events many of the black hip-hoppers headed to University McDonald’s.

Interestingly, Butler told a police detective he always had “a lot of security” at his hip-hop events.

Yet at University McDonald’s, Butler had no off-duty police officer providing security — even on nights that the hip-hop and gangsta crowd showed up in large numbers.

Cost for an off-duty cop – a mere $100. Police had told Butler such a late-night security measure, in use at other nearby 24-hour outlets, could stop trouble before it started.

The all-white jury — eight women and four men – took only four hours to render their $27 million judgment: $16 million for Ward’s parents; $11 million for Crisp’s.

According to a recent article in The Eagle, a daily paper in College Station, the problems at University McDonald’s persist. Lawyers for McDonald’s have vowed to appeal. They are sticking to their argument that poor choices made by the two couples – namely their underage drinking and Bean’s reckless driving – were responsible for Ward and Bean’s deaths. McDonald’s definitely took the negligence case seriously, though. During opening arguments, it had 12 lawyers at the defense table. Hamilton handled the contingency-fee case with two associates – nearly 40 percent of the legal talent in a firm of eight lawyers. “They tried to bury us in paperwork and money,” he remarked.

Parents and relatives of Ward and Crisp attended the trial, but on Hamilton’s advice sat outside the courtroom except when testifying about how the deaths of their children had affected them. They are not giving interviews. Hamilton, however, said they felt vindicated that the jury had rejected the blame-the-victim strategy of McDonald’s lawyers. Marshall Rosenberg, lead lawyer for McDonald’s, did not respond to an e-mail seeking comment.

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 would erupt! Big-time journalist 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 like 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 has 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.

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  • Donnie

    Meant to say dead,not dread

  • truthbolt

    Quite simply a case of TNB and why I carry a G19. There is no way I’d have stepped out of my vehicle into a pack of apes like those kids did, but hey, I’m old enough to no better and they weren’t.

  • lomaxima

    Why is this not on CNN?

    • Saintopher

      Money

    • Guest In Virginia

      Most white reporter’s in all media outlet’s have a “white guilt indoctrination” stamped into their brains by the likes of Al Sharpton, J.Jackson, NAACP & other civil rights groups. They will do anything to “NOT” report on the black on white violent stories because they don’t want to be responsible for starting a race war or taking the country back to the 60′s of the black race rioting. They are cowards & totally irresponsible in they’re duties of reporting the whole truth. The majority of the the media’s personnel are liberal apologists that try to appease & downplay anything negative when it comes to minorities, especially the black race, so as to try & balance out the crime reporting. They can hide the stories but they can’t hide the facts & statistics of an overwhelming population of blacks in our jails & prison’s that out number all other race’s. It’s sick & disgusting.

  • MintyFresh

    that place needs the right sort of driveby. “cleanup on aisles 1-2-3 and 4!”

  • MintyFresh

    Segregation was soooo horrible, wasn’t it? not.

  • http://wolfmoon1776.wordpress.com/ Wolf Moon

    One more hate-crime deep-sixed by the racist mainstream media.

  • E. Newton

    Have “The Talk” (John Derbyshire has compiled it for you) with your children. The parents of these brutally murdered young people should be collecting from the media as much as McDonalds. The young in this country are bathed in the hypnotic TV images of gentle, friendly and bright blacks. The movies and print images tell them the same thing, you have no reason to be cautious around blacks. Violent crime statistics tell us quite the opposite.

    I do wonder how McDonalds will incorporate this story into their 365Black program?

  • F.N.

    So looking forward to day of rope.

  • Joe daddy long legs

    Hahaha!! This article is hilarious! Yea your really getting your rights stomped on white people. Try again please. According to FBI statistics posted on their website whites comprise the majority of all crimes by a huge lead including rape assault and arson. Black on white crime exists but on a 12-3 ratio with blacks committing the 3. Yea these stories are good if your position was to be angry in the first place otherwise it’s just anger baiting. Here’s the real truth. Your government and media is being slowly an silently bought out by big money like the Koch bros. That police presence in ferguson wasn’t a display it was indoctrination. We get use to the familiar. They are coming for you next. This white on black thing is a smokescreen. If we are too busy fighting each other the distraction worked an they are coming in the back door. Don’t believe me YouTube no knock warrants. It’s about money people not color, color is the distraction so when they zag you don’t see it coming !

    • Mel Content

      According to FBI statistics posted on their website whites comprise the
      majority of all crimes by a huge lead including rape assault and arson.

      Sources and cites please, and show those numbers in terms of proportion of the population. Things won’t appear the same way you are desperately spinning them here…

      • katzkiner

        Mel, pick up a copy of “White Girl Bleed a Lot”. There is not going to be a race war, it has been raging for decades. Whitey just hasn’t caught on yet.

    • Peter Gibson

      According to FBI statistics posted on their website whites comprise the
      majority of all crimes by a huge lead including rape assault and arson.
      Black on white crime exists but on a 12-3 ratio with blacks committing
      the 3.

      Sorry mate, but that ^^^^ is utterly false.

      I don’t know what FBI site you’re looking at, but it doesn’t exist in this dimension. The actual statistics are literally damning to Black culture when it comes to violent crime. Unequivocally slanted to the point of being a ridiculous, and as under-reported as these stats might be, numbers don’t just turn upside down to suit a narrative.

      I’m lazy to look up the numbers again (for the umpteenth time), and they are at the FBI dot GOV site anyway, proving how absolutely perverted you’ve analyzed the data. How’s about you watch this short video if you care to know how the numbers and racial disparity of crime actually adds up.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iGTUcS-yQtQ#t=231

    • JustOneProletarian

      https://m.imgur.com/OMwAaWW

      There, have some cold hard facts, sunny-jim.

  • Scott Carroll

    White, liberal naivete should not cost someone their life.

  • Kisha

    To generalize any race by the actions of a few is bigotry and racism in its finest form and the reason it will never truly be eradicated. All African Americans are not violent uneducated and immoral. Bad people belong to all races equally. Learn to be part of the solution not the problem and stop negatively commentating. It doesn’t help. We all need to be praying and realize hate only begats hate.

    • Mel Content

      When blacks stop screaming racism every time one of their own winds up in jail or on a slab in the morgue, then we can have this little talk again. Most whites in this country have been willing to do exactly as you have requested, so when are the majority of blacks willing to do the same?

  • Mel Content

    What I am wondering is why notices weren’t handed out at the collages
    warning kids to avoid these areas after dark, all races not just white
    or black.?

    Are you freaking kidding? Don’t expect any college administrator in this country to ever deal with reality, especially it involves suggesting that one race of individuals might have a higher propensity for violence than another one. College administrations are pure political hacks and complete cowards who will stick their heads into the sand at every opportunity…

  • Thomas Zell

    Did the people actually have a motive for the killing, or did they just do it because they are wild animals and need to be locked up in cages? Our society is far too forgiving of certain subhuman creatures that live among us and contribute nothing to civilization. Some people simply belong in cages and don’t deserve freedom.

  • Kisha

    So have you spoken to the majority of blacks? Or are you assuming? That only makes an assistant of everyone. I live in Northeast Texas and racism is still very much alive. However I don’t assume all white people are racist nor do I see every situation happening to be a result of it. I’m educated, a productive member of society, and pay my bills. Never the less, it was very difficult to find a decent house in a good neighborhood because they assume I can’t afford it. Some come right out and ask. When in the end I would pay better than the white tenants they prefer. I give everyone the benefit of the doubt and don’t use descriptors such as the blacks or all the whites. My judgment is based on the individual.

    • http://www.valairinc.com dan vallance

      Obviously not if you claim ” I would pay better than most of the white tenants” you too are a hypocrite.

  • Kisha

    I’m sorry have you asked all blacks. Your generalization proves my point. You are assuming and that only makes an assistant of us all. The majority of black Americans are educated hard working and productive members of society like myself. However in the small east Texas town I live in it is very difficult for me to find a decent house in a good neighborhood because they assume I can’t afford the rent. Some come right out and ask. Nevertheless that doesn’t make me assume all whites are that ignorant nor does it make me feel every situation is racially motivated. Truth be told I would pay better than the white tenants they prefer. Racism exist but not all Black Americans allow it to define them. How about you refer to people by their given name rather than the group in which you believe they belong. If you don’t have to deal with an issue you have no right to tell someone who does how they should deal with it. I give everyone the benefit of the doubt. How about trying to do the same

    • thinker

      There are a lot of successful blacks in larger cities. In LA, NY, they are well educated and successful. I don’t know about smaller cities. The “race” thing seems to be getting worse rather than better.

  • E.J. Letz

    Who in thier right mind would get out of thier car in the middle of 400 crazed violent hoodlum darkies? I don’t care where you are from, if you don’t know black people are violent racists and they hate whitey, then you are a freakin idiot, and what happened is nature’s way of thinning the herd.

    • happyhappy joyjoy

      Only a White liberal. Honestly, they got what they deserved, if they believed that children of the rainbow nonsense or any bullshit about Blacks being equal.

  • D_Smith2020

    If they had left because of the black people, the black people would call them white racists for leaving but if they stay and try to “get along” then they get murdered by racist blacks for doing so.
    Not much of a choice blacks give whites these days: you’re a racist if you separate yourself from them for your protection or your racistly assaulted, robbed, and possibly murdered if you try to “get along.”

    • WhiskeyJunkie

      Anybody that is not black is subject to the race card by blacks. Asians get get it just as bad, and there was never a history of slavery was there?

      Hispanics are at a constant war with blacks in California, Florida, NY, NJ, and a few other hotspot around the country.

  • Dutra

    A situation such as this makes a compelling argument for high capacity magazines. Unfortunate, but true.

  • Pax Romana

    As with all Black on White, Black on Asian Violence, which is approx. 90% of all interracial violence…. Liberal Media Rule #1: In order to maintain Blacks’ preeminent status as America’s #1 ‘Officially Certified Victim Group’, said Victims must not be shown to have victims of their own, or the White tax paying public will lose sympathy, patience, and the Liberal instilled sense of collective guilt, in order for the majority population to accept being openly discriminated against in college admissions, government contracts, hiring, ect. And the majority of Blacks under the government’s wing, and voting Democrat.

    The Liberal Victimists and their MSM has been practicing that rule for years, while doing everything in their power to make this protected demographic feel they are the “poor hapless victims of evil white men”, while at the same time portraying them in the culture of popular media as innocent, righteous paragons of humanity, sanitized and glorified beyond recognition.

    • James Sunderland

      Is Fox News reporting this AT ALL?

  • Abraham

    Surveillance video from an Ohio Walmart shows that a man fatally shot by police earlier this month had his back to officers and was talking on a cell phone

    Cops Who Killed John Crawford III At Ohio Walmart Shot Him ‘On Sight’.
    The police start shooting and they said ‘Get on the ground,’ but he was already on the ground because they had shot him… I could hear him just crying and screaming. I feel like they shot him down like he was not even human.”

    And you wonder why Black men are angry?

    • jmscrcrn

      Why don’t you choose the side of “right” instead of “race?”

    • James Sunderland

      Untamed animals are usually angry.

  • http://laike9m.com/ laike9m

    还是评论有价值。。Black Privilege 总有一天会把美国害了

  • James Sunderland

    We need to restart slavery for blacks instead of sending them to jail.Sell them to rich whites who can tame the animal with whips and chains to do basic labor.3/5 seems like too much.

  • James Sunderland

    Steve Irwin the “Croc Hunter” once said “The American Negro is the most vicious and evil animal on this planet.I’d rather take my chances with the giant pythons and alligators.”