Saturday, November 4, 2023 11:56PM
HARBOR CITY, LOS ANGELES (KABC) — The family of a teen girl who was allegedly attacked by a woman inside a McDonald’s restaurant in Harbor City has filed a lawsuit against the fast food chain and the woman involved.
Ariana Lauifi was caught on video beating 13-year-old Kassidy Jones.
Kassidy’s mother, Angelina Gray, and attorney Toni Jaramilla announced the lawsuit Friday, which claims managers and staff “stood and watched and offered no intervention or aid” to Kassidy.
It’s unclear what motivated the attack.
Last week, Gray asked the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office to reinstate a felony count in the case that had been reduced to a misdemeanor. Gray said she was appealing to District Attorney George Gascón, saying she remains “undeterred to get justice” for her daughter.
“A misdemeanor charge sends a message that the lives and safety of young Black girls don’t really matter to those in power,” Gray said. “Kassidy is a 4.0 honor roll student who has suffered tremendous pain and is still undergoing tremendous trauma.”
Ariana Lauifi, now 32, was initially charged Oct. 2 with a felony count of child abuse under circumstances or conditions likely to cause great bodily injury or death, but the charge was reduced Monday to a misdemeanor at the request of the District Attorney’s Office.
Arrest made in brutal, seemingly unprovoked attack on teen girl in Harbor City McDonaldThe 13-year-old was attacked and beaten inside a Harbor City McDonald’s on Sept. 6 apparently with little warning or provocation.
“The prosecutors in our Family Violence Division have unique training and experience in successfully prosecuting child abuse cases,” according to a statement released last week by the District Attorney’s Office. “The most senior members of the division carefully examined the evidence in this case, including previously unseen video footage of the assault, and determined that a felony was not the appropriate charge in this case. The disproportionate victimization of Black women and girls is something our office takes very seriously and to suggest otherwise is offensive.”
Lauifi is suspected in the Sept. 6 attack on the teenager, who went into the restaurant in the 1700 block of Lomita Boulevard with friends when she was attacked, seemingly without provocation.
Police credited tips from the public for leading investigators to Lauifi.
At a recent court hearing, Lauifi was ordered not to have any contact with the teen. She is due back in a Long Beach courtroom Dec. 7 for a pretrial hearing.
Copyright © 2023 KABC Television, LLC. All rights reserved.