A woman allegedly attacked a teenage girl inside a McDonald’s restaurant in Harbor City, leading the family to file a lawsuit against both the fast food chain and the perpetrator. A video surfaced showing Ariana Lauifi physically assaulting 13-year-old Kassidy Jones.
On Friday, Angelina Gray, Kassidy’s mother, along with attorney Toni Jaramilla, announced a lawsuit. The lawsuit alleges that Kassidy was left without any intervention or aid as managers and staff watched.
The reason behind the attack remains unclear.
Gray made a request to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office last week to restore the felony charge that was previously reduced to a misdemeanor. She appealed to District Attorney George Gascón and expressed her unwavering determination to seek justice for her daughter.
Gray expressed that charging Kassidy with a misdemeanor implies a disturbing message that young Black girls’ lives and safety are not valued by those in positions of power. Kassidy, who is a brilliant 4.0 honor roll student, has undergone immense pain and is still grappling with significant trauma.
The District Attorney’s Office has requested a reduction of charges against Ariana Lauifi, who is 32 years old. Initially, Lauifi faced a felony charge of child abuse under circumstances or conditions that could cause great bodily injury or death. However, on Monday, the charge was lowered to a misdemeanor.
On September 6, a 13-year-old was assaulted and battered inside a McDonald’s located in Harbor City. The attack seemed to have occurred without any prior warning or provocation.
Last week, the District Attorney’s Office released a statement emphasizing the specialized expertise of their Family Violence Division in prosecuting child abuse cases. The statement also mentioned that the senior members of the division had meticulously reviewed all the evidence, including previously unseen video footage of the assault, and had concluded that a felony charge was not warranted in this particular case. Furthermore, the statement made it clear that the office was committed to addressing the issue of disproportionate victimization of Black women and girls, and any insinuation to the contrary was deemed offensive.
Authorities believe that Lauifi is the prime suspect in the assault that occurred on September 6th. The victim, a teenager, was with her friends at a restaurant located on Lomita Boulevard in the 1700 block when she was attacked by Lauifi without any apparent provocation.
The public’s tips proved to be invaluable in helping investigators locate Lauifi, according to the police. During a court hearing, Lauifi received an order that prohibits her from having any communication with the teenager. A pretrial hearing is scheduled for December 7th in Long Beach.
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