Man, there is so much going on here it isn't even funny.
Let's start with the cashier, since that who the news is mostly focusing on as the bad guy.
This is how you lose what we call Fight Three in the PDR Program (You vs. The System). Imagine you're on the jury judging this case. Do the cashiers actions seem "reasonable" to you? Did he use a level of force appropriate to the situation?
I don't think so. No matter how you spin it, if you are beating a semi-conscious person with a steel pipe while they're on the ground, you are PROBABLY using excessive force (I'm sure someone will come along with a scenario where that's not true...but in this case, it certainly is not).
Now, here's the thing: the cashier might very well have been in the right at the start of things. One woman slapped him, and then charged over the counter. The other was walking behind it, and I really doubt either of them were just looking to have a friendly chat. The cashier was probably within his rights to use a certain amount of force (though he could also probably have ducked out the back door and let his co-workers call the cops), but a steel rod to the face wasn't it.
Speaking of the women: here's yet another example of the adage "don't let your mouth write checks your ass can't cash."
While I am by no means condoning the cashier's actions, let's face it...these women got themselves into this mess. I'm not saying they deserve the injuries they received...please be clear on that.
They were the ones who took the confrontation from being a verbal one to being a physical one. Yes, the other guy escalated WAY faster than they were prepared for, but they still got the ball rolling. Let this be a lesson...if you get the ball rolling, you may get a lot more than you bargained for.
Finally, consider this: this entire incident took place inseide a McDonald's, and a reasonably busy one at that. There were plenty of other people around (customers, employees), none of whom really did a DAMN THING to stop this. How many opportunities were there for the employees to intervene? Could a customer have come over and restrained one of the parties involved?
Food for thought.