The video was subsequently posted on social media first by her son, T.J.
By then, the belligerent customer was verbally accosting the manager - a part of the incident she didn't capture on camera, she said.
The video shooter's son, T.J. Biandudi, is proud of his mother's actions.
Biandudi is happy her video could help police catch Taylor. According to police, she defended herself by punching Taylor in the face. While some voices in the backdrop can also be heard yelling, 'Stop it!
Taylor is white and James is black. They say James is still traumatized by what happened, but she's trying her best to recover.
But the woman yelled back a reply: "No, you're going to jail!"
It was showing a man pulling a McDonald's employee by the shirt over the counter.
The violent customer went on to demand that the employee he accosted be fired. "All started because he wanted a straw", he wrote on Facebook.
St. Pete police arrested Daniel Taylor, 41, and charged him with two counts of battery. He is now being held in Pinellas County Jail in lieu of $1,000 bail.
Biandudi recalls that Taylor returned later to the establishment just a few minutes after the altercation to confront the manager. "We have been in contact with the police department and are fully cooperating with their investigation", McDonald's wrote in a statement.
Police were called after Taylor was told to leave. "He had been beaten and robbed". At the end of the video, the thug says, "I was just asking you a f***ing question, bitch".
The woman said she tried to call and text, but her son did not answer.
"I said, this is getting a little heated here", Biandudi told the Washington Post. "They said if they find his body they will let me know".
The McDonalds employee very quickly fights back however, laying punch after punch in to the man, with other staff joining in shortly after to try to separate the two.
Biandudi told FOX 13 that the fight began because Taylor demanded a straw.
The employee attempted to explain this to Taylor, said CNN's witness, Brenda Biandudi.