Houston, TX – A restaurant waiter refused to serve a customer who insulted a boy with Down syndrome, and has since become an internet hero now that his story has gone viral.
Michael Garcia, a waiter at Laurenzo’s, was serving a family of regulars of which 5-year-old Milo, who has Down syndrome, is a member. “Milo wasn’t being bad, he was just talking and making little noises,” Garcia told Fox News. But that didn’t stop a nearby customer from making comments about the boy.
The unhappy customer moved to another table in Garcia’s section. Garcia said he overhead the man say “special needs children need to be special somewhere else.”
“My personal feelings took over because that’s ignorance in my opinion and I told him ‘Sir, I won’t be able to serve you,'” Garcia recalled. The customer and his family left, while Milo’s family was completely unaware of what had transpired.
“Maybe there were other ways I could have handled it, but Milo is such an angel, he is a gift from God as are all special needs children,” Garcia said.
Garcia said that he didn’t tell Milo’s family about the incident, because he wouldn’t want to cause them stress or emotional pain, reports The Daily Mail.
Since the incident, Garcia’s story has gone viral, with many on social media proclaiming him a hero and flooding his online profiles with friend requests and encouraging messages.
If I ever visit Houston I am going to Laurenzo’s, to meet Mr Garcia that wonderful waiter who refused to serve the family!
— sandrareston (@sandrareston) January 19, 2013
Houston waiter defends a child with Down Syndrome and refuses service to offender. Eat at Laurenzo’s!! 29-95.com/restaurants/st…
— Tiffany (@AnotherTexasFam) January 19, 2013
Props to Laurenzo’s for supporting a waiter who refused service to a family speaking negatively of a special needs child at the restaurant.
— Cara ConnallyMatocha (@clcmusicfactory) January 19, 2013
“We can’t lose track of what this is about,” Garcia said regarding the attention his story has gotten. “It is about Milo, it is about educating ourselves and when people are different, why should you treat them any different?”
“It’s fear of the unknown,” he said.