Witnesses record large fight rather than attempt to break it up

ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – A large fight broke out at an Albany McDonald’s, but rather than call police, bystanders recorded the brawl on their cell phones.

A fight began in the parking lot of the McDonald’s on Central Avenue in Albany on Sunday. It eventually spilled into the restaurant.

The video of the fight is hard to watch for Phyllis because her daughter was one of the victims of the fight.

“Nine or 10 girls against one girl,” she said.

Phyllis said her daughter was at work when she was attacked by a group of people in their teens and 20s. They also attacked at least two other people.

But in the video, not a single person calls for help.

“And that’s the most appalling part,” Phyllis said. “No one ever tries to break it up.”

Instead, they all recorded it on their cell phones, including a McDonald’s manager.

“Did not call the police immediately; did not try to diffuse the situation,” Phyllis said. “She, in fact, watched.”

McDonald’s corporate office said they would review the incident and would follow up with NEWS10 ABC on Wednesday.

Psychologist Rudy Nydegger suggested the video shows the blurred lines between virtual reality and reality because, he asks, when did taking out a cell phone to record become the right thing to do?

“When just even a few people start establishing a social reality then that becomes the right thing to do and that’s the same thing as bystander apathy that we’ve noticed in decades when doing nothing becomes the social norm,” he said.

Police said the incident is under investigation, and they are looking into a cause.

McDonald’s released a statement on the incident:

“We take the safety and well-being of our customers and employees very seriously and pride ourselves on providing a respectful and enjoyable restaurant experience. The isolated behavior of the individuals in question is not reflective of my employees or my organization.

Upon learning about this incident, we took immediate action to gather the facts. Action has been taken consistent with our employment policies. We are cooperating fully with the authorities, and because this is an ongoing police investigation, it would be inappropriate to further comment or speculate at this time.”

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