McDonald’s employee gets 100 years for robbing, stabbing man in ‘unprovoked’ bathroom attack

Tyler Mitchell By Tyler Mitchell Jul10,2024

ELKVIEW, W.Va. (TCN) — A 33-year-old man will likely spend the rest of his life behind bars for robbing a 56-year-old customer and stabbing him in the neck and face at a local McDonald’s.

The Kanawha County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office announced that a judge sentenced Richard Thornton on July 8 to 100 years in prison. He pleaded guilty in April to first-degree robbery in connection with the 2023 attack on Anthony Woods.

According to a news release from the Kanawha County Sheriff’s Office, on Tuesday, Jan. 17, 2023, deputies responded to the McDonald’s at 105 Crossings Mall after the victim had been “robbed and injured with a knife in the bathroom.” Thornton, an employee of the restaurant, was seen fleeing on foot.

Woods, a customer, reportedly went to use the bathroom when Thornton followed him, stole his wallet, and stabbed him in the face and neck. Thornton exited the bathroom, and patrons found the victim with serious facial injuries and stabs wounds to his neck. Woods was transported to a hospital for treatment and survived his injuries.

A deputy later found Thornton with a bloody knife and the victim’s wallet in his possession. Authorities initially arrested him on one felony count of first-degree robbery with a deadly weapon and one felony count of malicious wounding.

According to West Virginia Metro News, Judge Kenneth Ballard told Thornton at his sentencing, “You attacked a stranger in the bathroom of the McDonald’s completely unprovoked.”

Thornton apologized to the victim, stating, “I’m terribly sorry for this man and what had happened to him. I’m here hoping to get fair judgment today and wish him the best of luck with his life.”

Prior to the 2023 attack, Thornton allegedly tried to stab another victim, according to the sheriff’s office. On the night of Sept. 28, 2019, deputies responded to a call of a man under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Deputies located Thornton, who admitted he had been using methamphetamine and bath salts. He was transported to a hospital via ambulance.

While en route, Thornton allegedly tried to release himself from straps and was uncooperative with treatment. Thornton reportedly retrieved a knife from his pants and tried to stab the medic assisting him. The ambulance driver stopped the vehicle. The two medics left the ambulance and Thornton chased them, the sheriff’s office said.

Thornton was transported to a hospital and arrested upon his release on two counts of attempted murder. According to WOWK-TV, Thornton entered a plea deal to dismiss the charges. He received one year of probation for attempted malicious wounding of emergency service personnel and reportedly agreed to undergo mental health treatment. Thornton was serving probation at the time of the attack at McDonald’s.

Tyler Mitchell

By Tyler Mitchell

Tyler is a renowned journalist with years of experience covering a wide range of topics including politics, entertainment, and technology. His insightful analysis and compelling storytelling have made him a trusted source for breaking news and expert commentary.

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