Woman says gift of food led to attack
Fran MacLaren says it was a random act of kindness that led to a random act of violence.
And she was the victim.
MacLaren gave a homeless man a double cheeseburger; David Craig, the homeless man, gave her a beating, MacLaren testified in court on Friday.
"It causes you to lose faith in humanity," she said.
Craig, 41, will face a grand jury and is being held on $75,000 bond after a judge found probable cause. At the hearing there was laughter at MacLaren's attitude and explanation of the attack but it also led to removal of Craig's court-appointed lawyer by the judge.
The case, as explained in court, started when MacLaren went to a Nolensville Road McDonald's for a late lunch on Monday. The homeless man, Craig, was outside of the fast-food chain after being told to leave a nearby liquor store.
MacLaren gave Craig the cheeseburger as he was lying down in a parking spot outside the restaurant. Craig shouted he didn't want the burger, just money and threw the burger at MacLaren, she testified.
"I told him he was an ungrateful bastard," she testified.
Craig went after her, she said, and MacLaren pepper-sprayed him in the eyes.
Enraged, Craig rammed her over a 4-foot retaining wall, MacLaren said. He struck her repeatedly, broke her nose, fractured her wrist, cheekbone and cracked a rib, she said. She also injured her knee.
She limped into the McDonald's but was later locked out of the restaurant. "I was bleeding from my nose," she said. "No one was helping."
Public Defender Mary-Kathryn Harcombe asked whether MacLaren had been drinking and if she was drunk during the attack and whether she had really tried to avoid the attack.
Harcombe told the judge that her story seemed incredible and there was surely more to it.
"What's incredible is that this woman was beaten like this," said Judge Casey Moreland . "What's incredible is that no one helped her. How did she get those bruises and injuries?"