POLK COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) – The attorney for a pregnant woman arrested last week in connection with an incident at a Florida McDonald’s is accusing the Polk County Sheriff of ridiculing and mocking her.
“The world can look up to Sheriff Grady Judd as the class clown of every sheriff’s department in Florida,” Jeremy McLymont, attorney for Tianis Jones, said at a press conference on Friday. “I see him as someone very dangerous for our justice system.”
Judd held a press conference last Friday to discuss the May 19 incident, in which Jones, 22, was accused of having an explosion at Lakeland McDonald’s and becoming ‘enraged’ after trouble with his online order. In video of the incident, Jones can be seen slapping items on the counter before going behind the register and throwing cups on the floor. She also called 911 during the incident to complain and stopped to twerk as she left the restaurant.
At the press conference, Sheriff Judd called Jones “McMad”.
“I don’t know why that woman got mad the way she was, but as the saying goes, she’s missing a few fries for a Happy Meal,” the sheriff said.
The video of the incident and the sheriff’s comment have been viewed millions of times online.
At a press conference hosted by Jones’ legal team, Jones said she had no reaction to the video other than to “get justice.”
McLymont, her lawyer, says Jones suffers from bipolar disorder and depression and was not taking her medication due to her pregnancy. She was upset over a dispute over her food order and not getting a refund, which was also why she called 911, according to McLymont.
Last Friday, Judd suggested Jones and her legal team only brought up her pregnancy and mental health issues as an “apology.”
Clayton Cowart, a local civil rights leader, criticized Judd for his comments.
“Stick to McPolicing, stay off the McCamera and stop trying to be a McMovie star, mental illness is real,” Cowart said.
Jones faces charges of burglary with assault, criminal mischief, disorderly conduct and misuse of 911.
“[Sheriff Judd’s] unprofessional and dangerous comments risk tainting any potential jury Ms. Tianis may have in this case,” McLymont said.
The sheriff dismissed claims that his comments would taint a group of jurors if the case went to trial.
“Do you think anyone is going to pay attention to a press conference today at a jury trial a year, two or three years from now? That’s nonsense,” Judd said.
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