Laurenzo’s is a popular Italian restaurant in Houston that is known for its delectable prime rib, fabulous weekend brunch, and noble waiters. Michael Garcia, a longtime waiter at the establishment, is being hailed as a hero across the nation after he refused to serve a customer who made a rude comment about a child with special needs who was eating with his family during his shift.
Garcia is the type of waiter who remembers his customer’s names and treats the regulars like family, especially 5-year-old Milo Castillo and his parents. Milo is a beautiful, well-behaved child that was born with Down syndrome, and he also happens to be one of Michael Garcia’s favorite people to see while he’s working.
When Milo and his family were at Laurenzo’s last Wednesday, January 16th, another diner asked Garcia to move him and his family away from Milo’s table. As he was helping the patrons move, Garcia overheard the man say, “Special needs children need to be special somewhere else.”
Garcia says after he heard that, he confronted the customer. “My personal feelings took over and I told him, ‘I’m not going to be able to serve you, sir,’” Garcia said. “He said, ‘If you’re not going to be able to serve us, then we’ll leave.’ Then I told him, ‘How could you say that? How could you say that about a beautiful 5-year-old angel?’”
After the man and his family left, Milo’s parents heard about what had happened and were impressed by Garcia taking a stand for what he felt was right. Laurenzo’s is backing Garcia’s decision to refuse to serve the customer that made the insensitive comment, and it seems the rest of the nation is as well.
News of what happened has spread across the country, with outlets such as MSNBC, the Today Show, the Huffington Post, the Examiner, Yahoo! News, and countless others covering the story. Laurenzo’s is being praised for not tolerating hate and ignorance in its restaurant.
Facebook has exploded with comments about Garcia’s heroic act, and Laurenzo’s page is filled with people thanking Garcia and the restaurant for what he did. One week after the event, Laurenzo’s is still getting hundreds of comments of commendation from people all over the United States, and the page’s number of ‘likes’ has spiked.
In a world where tragedy seems to occur regularly, it’s wonderful to hear about a story of love, bravery and doing what is right. Garcia’s act of kindness at Laurenzo’s has touched thousands of American’s hearts.
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