A grassroots campaign prompted by outraged Americans on Facebook and other social media has failed to secure the release of former McDonald's cashier, Rayon McIntosh, from Rikers Island.
McIntosh, 31, was arrested On October 12, 2011, after a wild fight with two female customers at the Greenwich Village McDonald's where he worked.
The fracas was caught on camera by a McDonald's customer who uploaded the video to YouTube. McIntosh was charged with two counts of felony assault and criminal possession of a weapon, while his attackers, Denise Darbeau and Rachel Edwards, both 24, were charged with menacing, disorderly conduct and trespassing.
Darbeau suffered a fractured skull and broken arm. She is permanently brain damaged, according to her mother.
Rayon's mother, Maureen Lucas, RN, a registered nurse, described McIntosh, who emigrated from Jamaica when he was a boy, as "a loving father who has an excellent relationship" with his 11-year-old daughter and the girl's mother.
She thanked her son's thousands of supporters on the family's official website, http://www.helpfreerayonmcintosh.org.
"Not one of my son’s fellow employees or a manager stepped in to stop Rachel Edwards from attacking my son," wrote Lucas, who added that Rayon subdued his attackers with "a small cooking utensil."
Mrs. Lucas said Rayon, who served 11 years in prison on a manslaughter charge, took the job at McDonald's "because he has a daughter to support and after missing 11 years of her life he wanted to make up for it the best way he knew how."
Denise Darbeau's father also spoke out in an interview with DNAinfo.com. "Although she was culpable, the attack itself was vicious and it shouldn't have happened," Gerald Darbeau told DNAinfo. "When he hit my daughter, she was out the first time. There was no reason to hit her again."
"People are saying it was provoked, but where does provocation stop and a vicious assault begin?" the victim's father added.
Rayon's plight has attracted the support of hundreds of sympathizers on message boards and social media who believe Rayon had the right to defend himself from attackers who jumped the counter and went after him at his workplace. So far the public's efforts to raise 10% of Rayon's $40,000 bail ($4000) has not succeeded.
Rayon's mother worries that her son won't be released from jail before Thanksgiving.
While there are some who bitterly scourge Rayon McIntosh because of his past mistakes, we are grateful to the thousands of members of the public who have expressed support for my sons’ right to defend himself against an unprovoked attack. With your financial support, the Help Free Rayon McIntosh Fund will be able to get him home in time to spend Thanksgiving Day with his 11 year old daughter!
Maureen Lucas, RN (Mother of Rayon McIntosh)
Co-Chairperson, Help Free Rayon McIntosh Fund
Contact number: 845-596-5990 / Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Rayon McIntosh's next court date: 9:30am, November 28, 2011 (Manhattan Criminal Court Building @ 100 Centre Street).