Bond denied for suspect in deadly McDonald’s attack

The man accused of attacking a man in McDonald’s who later died was denied bond at his court appearance Thursday.

Donald Thomas, 50, was arrested Monday and charged with aggravated battery and robbery in the Feb. 28 attack on Frederic Cooper inside the McDonald’s on Indian Trail Lilburn Road, according to Gwinnett County police. On Tuesday, 74-year-old Cooper died in the hospital.

Police said Thursday charges against Thomas could be upgraded, depending on Cooper’s autopsy.

Gwinnett County police say Thomas followed Cooper into the bathroom at the restaurant and tried to take Cooper’s wallet, but the older man resisted. Thomas allegedly attacked Cooper and the two struggled, police said. Cooper was knocked to the floor, sustained a cut to his face and fractured back, among other injuries. Police said Thomas took the wallet and fled the scene.

“Somebody else may not have been injured as severely, but he is 74 years old and he was not physically prepared to be knocked down and attacked the way he was,” Cpl. Jake Smith with Gwinnett police said.

In court Thursday, Thomas asked for a public defender and told the judge he was homeless at the time of his arrest. He will remain in jail and has another court appearance scheduled next week.

Court records show Thomas has been in and out of the Gwinnett jail and court system several times, mainly for drugs and trespassing charges, Channel 2 Action News reported.

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