St. Petersburg Woman Destroys McDonalds Wearing Only a Thong

Finebloom, Haenel & Higgins

In a video from March 24, which went viral at the beginning of April, a St. Petersburg woman, wearing nothing but a thong, is seen destroying the kitchen in a Pinellas Park McDonald’s.  In the video, this woman is seen throwing things on the floor out of coolers, knocking over registers and even pausing to take some ice cream out of a soft serve machine.  The video, complete with commentary by employees of the restaurant who were watching the destruction, was uploaded online on the site LiveLeak and quickly became viral.

Police identified the woman in the video as 41-year-old Colombian native Sandra Suarez and stated that she was hospitalized after the incident on the video and was later charged with felony criminal mischief and resisting arrest with violence. They stated that she started destroying the restaurant when sexual advances were rejected by a restaurant employee and later also tried to come on to an arresting officer.  She was released on $7000 bond.

In a recent interview with Suarez, she attempted to offer an explanation for her destruction of the McDonald’s, stating that she was not on drugs or alcohol and did not remember doing it.  She stated that she was being treated for depression and that destroying the restaurant was a bipolar attack.

Suarez apparently is considering going back to Colombia if the damage done by the video going viral is too bad for her children.  The employee who uploaded the video, along with an employee heard commenting on it, were both fired by McDonald’s.

It is highly likely that Suarez will end up using an insanity defense to the charges against her.  An insanity defense is considered an affirmative defense under Florida law meaning that, basically, the crime is being admitted to, but that there is an explanation as to why a defendant is not criminally responsible.  Under Florida statute, for an insanity defense, the defendant would have to prove by clear and convincing evidence that they had a mental disease or defect and that because of that disease they either did not know what they were doing, including the consequences, or that they did not know that what they were doing was wrong.

However, the story does not end with being acquitted under an insanity defense as a person who uses it could end up confined for far longer than if they had just served the normal sentence.  If someone is acquitted under an insanity defense, they could be forced into a state hospital, where their eventual release would depend on a number of things including compliance with treatment and danger to society.  Even if commitment doesn’t happen, strict monitoring over treatment could.