Orlando, FL – The man in an Easter bunny costume who many praised after he rushed to the aid of a woman in a sidewalk fight on Sunday is actually a career criminal wanted for a vehicle burglary in New Jersey and is a “person of interest” in a recent carjacking and two armed robberies in Pasco County.
Antoine McDonald, 20, was captured on cell phone video rushing to help break up a fight between and man and woman on a sidewalk in front of an Orlando bar while wearing an Easter bunny costume, the Tampa Bay Times reported.
As the video began, a woman was struggling to free her leg from the grasp of a man who was down on the sidewalk holding on to her.
The video showed her striking the man repeatedly in her attempt to break free, before he grabbed her and pulled her down to the sidewalk with him.
As this was happening, McDonald, wearing an Easter bunny costume, ran into the melee and began throwing punches with his huge, white, padded-costume paws.
The video showed the bunny wrapped his arms around the man’s waist and pulled him off of, and away from, the woman.
When the man refused to release the woman, the giant bunny started to pummel him. Then he tried to drag the man away from the woman again.
When that failed to work, the Good Samaritan Easter bunny began hitting the man again in an effort to make him release the struggling woman.
At that point, another bystander approached the white rabbit as if to intervene, but that’s when police arrived on the scene.
The Easter bunny stepped back when police arrived and let the officer take over.
No arrests were made after the incident and the Easter bunny could have maintained his anonymity and remained a mystery, but instead, McDonald sought to publicize his newfound fame, the Tampa Bay Times reported.
McDonald created an Instagram account under the handle @badbunnyof19 and gave interviews to local Orlando television station WKMG and TMZ.
He said that he and several friends went bar hopping with the bunny suit on Easter and that he was wearing the costume when they came upon the sidewalk fight.
“I saw him spit on her and then I saw, you know like a fight break out,” McDonald told TMZ. “I just ran over there.”
The video of the Easter bunny intervening in a street fight quickly went viral.
But police said that despite McDonald’s Good Samaritan moves on Easter, he has a very checkered criminal past and had a current warrant for a vehicle burglary in New Jersey when he donned the Easter bunny suit.
McDonald and an accomplice were caught on security video breaking into and vandalizing a car in South Brunswick, New Jersey in September of 2018, the Tampa Bay Times reported.
He was charged and a warrant for his arrest was issued, but he fled the state before he could be arrested.
South Brunswick Deputy Police Chief Jim Ryan said McDonald was also arrested in 2018 for spitting at a 7-Eleven employee and harassing a man on social media, the Tampa Bay Times reported.
Chief Ryan said McDonald was also implicated in a basketball court assault but that the incident had not resulted in an arrest.
“He’s got a lot of entries last year,” he said.
McDonald was arrested in Dover, Delaware in early 2017 after he and two other suspects allegedly committed two armed robberies in 12 hours on New Year’s Day, the Tampa Bay Times reported.
Police said that McDonald and his accomplices robbed three people at gunpoint, causing injury to two of them.
He was charged with two counts of robbery, possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony, second-degree conspiracy, and tampering with physical evidence, according to the Tampa Bay Times.
Most recently, McDonald was busted in January using a fake ID to rent a U-Haul in Pasco County.
The Pasco County Sheriff’s Office was already looking at him for a recent carjacking and two armed robberies when he was arrested, but he has yet to be charged in connection with those crimes, the Tampa Bay Times reported.
In February, he was arrested by Orange County deputies for reckless driving.