A south Jersey woman has opened up about what led to the brutal beating caught on video outside a Salem apartment complex.

Catherine Ferreira (6 ABC)

Bruised and swollen, Catherine Ferreira tells the South Jersey Times she had gone to visit the nearby McDonald's about two weeks ago where she and suspect Latia Harris both worked until recently. Ferreira says she made a comment about Harris "being together" with one of the restaurant's managers.

"I was joking around with two other employees," Ferreria  told the Times. "I was talking to my former co-workers — and since she overheard the statements that I made, she was upset" and concerned that the comment could cost her job.

Ferreria, who weighs 100 pounds and is just under five-foot according to 6 ABC, was afraid that Harris would hurt her 2-year-old son. "I'm trying to tell her like, 'You just go about your business, I don't wanna fight you," recalled Ferreria of their confrontation.

She is proud that her son was the only one who came to her aid as several others videoed the fight on their phones. "After that I became so much closer to my son because he didn’t care what was going on," she told CBS Philly. "He wasn’t afraid, he just wanted to defend his mom. That’s my world right there, I love that boy so much.”

At the same time, she isn't upset at the adults who did not step in. "I really want to make this clear — I don't want people to see them as monsters," she told the South Jersey Times. "They didn't really see that this was more serious than just a fight."

Harris,who has not been arrested, will not be working the counter at McDonald's anytime soon. "I am extremely disturbed by this kind of behavior and it goes against the values and standards that I expect from my employees in my restaurants," wrote franchise owner Jim Burglaga according to CBS Philly.. "This employee will not be serving customers pending this important police investigation and I’m fully cooperating with the local police in this matter.”

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