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Molly's Restaurant was evacuated yesterday.

While I was having a late lunch at Molly's in San Juan Capistrano yesterday 7/31, a young man with his grandmother started screaming into a cell phone, but it was not a cell phone just holding his hand to his ear and shouting in the coffee shop. He was so loud and disturbing people started to ask that the server call 911. Sorry to say she refused. She said, the young man had autism. While this was probably true, he was about 250 lbs and 6ft tall. He was uncontrollable. His grandmother could not get him to agree to leave.   The man got louder and frightening. So, the restaurant started emptying out. I asked the server to call 911 several times and she refused. My point is, this was an unsafe situation for everyone. It was not up to the server to decide, not to call 911. The entire coffee shop emptied of patrons leaving just the young man with autism shouting at the top of his lungs and his elderly grandmother.   Many customers were upset. Leaving with their lunch in a box. Or just leaving. Molly's needs to have a plan for emergency situations.   I talked to other diners as they walked to their cars. They too, felt threatened. It was an unsafe situation.
pspiniel August 04, 2013 at 09:35 AM
Donna, tolerance is an art difficult to master. I suggest you start working your way to be a more understanding person. I applaud the attitude of the employer to deny your request to call 911.
Shripathi Kamath August 05, 2013 at 11:14 AM
Why didn't you call 911 Donna, when the server refused? In your opinion, should servers be required to call 911 if an eight-year-old starts screaming as well, or only if the person is an adult? On a slightly different note, what was the threat felt by you when the young man allegedly yelled into his phone? Just the yelling or was he threatening someone with physical violence, or verbal abuse, or something else? What was the specific threat?
Angus Kevin Mckay August 05, 2013 at 01:23 PM
why didnt you just call 911 Donna? You found the time to come on here and disparage one of our towns privately owned businesses for not handling the situation to you satisfaction. well donna, i am dissapointed you didnt have the foresight to call youself, this should be titled "Donna went to lunch yesterday, Handicapped man made her uncomfortable, listen to her complain here"
Elsa August 12, 2013 at 05:27 PM
For all those who have criticized Donna, you.were.not.there? An agitated, autistic, 205 pound, 6ft. man, would be intimidating, to say the least, and, I would not have 'mastered the art of tolerance', either. Had they called 911 and explained the situation, I'm sure that more than one police car would have shown up if they needed to restrain the young man.
Donna Fleming August 15, 2013 at 07:13 PM
I am not lacking tolerance for the autistic young man. But, the entire restaurant emptied out. We felt uncomfortable and threatened. There is a positive way to handle situations like this and the police or sheriff know how to do it. Everyone had to leave their lunch or take it in a bag. Molly's is a great place. No problem there. It was not the servers place to decide who was threatened. I checked with other restaurants and they have a plan for such situations. Again, I am making no judgement about the guy, other than he was out of control at that moment. Everyone had to leave. In hindsight I should have called 911. I did not disparage Molly's. Thank you Elsa.
fact checker August 17, 2013 at 03:09 PM
Donna, it may be that the reason this man reacted the way he did was that he felt threatened and uncomfortable. Calling 911 may have allowed you to continue your lunch without any further interruptions but that man and his grandmother may have had to deal with much worse. It sounds like, perhaps, the server was familiar with this customer and his grandmother and was reluctant to make that call. This situation was not pleasant for anyone but you were able to leave and go on with your day. That grandmother and her grandson deal with autism everyday of their lives. Calling 911 may have escalated the behavior of the man. It is hard to know how to deal with situations like this and I am not criticizing your reaction. But, in hindsight, I think everyone did the best they could and did the right thing.
Donna Fleming August 17, 2013 at 04:34 PM
My point was there should be a system in place at every business that caters to the public. Usually there is a system for loud or disturbing customers. I was not the only one who felt uncomfortable and threatened. The other customers checking out and in the parking lot expressed the same concern. The man who left was angry. The 2 women in front of me felt the need to escape the possible threat. Should it ever happen again I will call 911. But, all businesses should have a plan for such events. Apparently they did not. As Elsa said, you were not there, how could you know the degree of anger and shouting coming from the young man with autism. This was no small child. Usually the police know how to handle and diffuse these situations. They are trained to do just that.
Shripathi Kamath August 17, 2013 at 06:08 PM
Donna Fleming August 17, 2013 at 04:34 PM My point was there should be a system in place at every business that caters to the public. _______________________________________________________ Huh? I thought your point was "It was not the servers place to decide who was threatened. " because in your post you emphasized that with a double negative when you said " It was not up to the server to decide, not to call 911. " _____________________________________________________ In other words, I thought your point was that the server was required to call 911 and assume responsibility for a possible false complaint or fine by the cops because you were threatened, but not threatened enough to call 911 yourself.
Donna Fleming August 18, 2013 at 04:26 PM
Shri. Had this happened on a plane, a bank, a shopping center, there is usually a plan in place to handle these situations properly. It was a tense few minutes. The server was trembling and seemed unsure of what to do. Calling 911 would not have gotten anyone fined. It would have been appropriate. I said it was not up to the server to decide the level of risk for the patrons. Just follow the Emergency plan. Either Molly's does not have a plan, or she chose to ignore it. Have you ever worked in an Emergency Response team? Written procedures for Emergency Response, Evacuation, procedures? If you had, you would know that you follow the plan. An employee does not take it into their own hands to decide what is best. If a bank is being robbed the customers do not call 911.. And, yes I have served on these teams.
Shripathi Kamath August 18, 2013 at 04:45 PM
Donna Fleming August 18, 2013 at 04:26 PM Shri. Had this happened on a plane, a bank, a shopping center, there is usually a plan in place to handle these situations properly. ___________________________________________________ You need to get past the presumption that there was no plan. Perhaps, and this could be a mind-bender, the plan was followed. That the server assessed the existential threat as benign and decided *not* call 911 per the plan. ____________________________________________________ "I said it was not up to the server to decide the level of risk for the patrons." _____________________________________________________ How then can a server call 911 ever, if she is not to decide whether something is risky or not? If you claim that the next table is praying to Allah and might be blowing up the restaurant because *you* feel the threat, the server should automatically do what you want her to? _____________________________________________________ Again, why didn't you call 911?
Donna Fleming August 18, 2013 at 05:06 PM
Shiri ... You were not there. You always take the opposing argumentative approach on these blogs.
Shripathi Kamath August 18, 2013 at 05:13 PM
Yes Doonona, I was not there. I was also not there when they beheaded Marie Antoinette on Jan 21st, 1793, but I can ask questions of those who recorded that history, can't I? Maybe I can't because I may have no right to decide to ask. _____________________________________________________ "You always take the opposing argumentative approach on these blogs." ___________________________________________________ Someone needs to be the voice advocating the devil's reason. If everyone agreed to agree even when they do not understand why the server MUST, without question, do what she is being told, it helps to explore.
Donna Fleming August 18, 2013 at 05:45 PM
Shiri...You are fanning the flames unnecessarily. No one was praying to Allah. This was an adult male with Autism. 200+ lbs. out of control shouting. If you have all this time to right the wrong....go to work on SDG& E and the increase of 15% in our electric bills. This is a worthy cause to vent your rhetoric. The emergency at Molly's is over. If they did not have a plan for emergency's hopefully they will create one.
Shripathi Kamath August 18, 2013 at 06:00 PM
Donna Fleming August 18, 2013 at 05:45 PM Shiri...You are fanning the flames unnecessarily. No one was praying to Allah. __________________________________________________ ___ And in a remarkable coincidence no one said that there was someone praying to Allah. What was said, Doona, was that *if* (that word has a specific meaning in a sentence, especially when it starts off one) you were to complain to the server who you said (at least a couple of times) has no right to decide anything but to follow your orders to call, that the next table were Allah worshippers and you felt threatened, would she have to make the 911 call? And risk a lawsuit for her boss? _____________________________________________________ See if you can stay within that scenario, because it results from your decree that the server cannot decide not to call 911 once you, a patron, complains of a threat you feel. _____________________________________________________ "If you have all this time to right the wrong....go to work on SDG& E and the increase of 15% in our electric bills. " ____________________________________________________ I promise that I will consider that option as soon as you get under a moving car. In the meantime, would you prefer to stay on topic and not trade personal insults, or shall we elevate this needlessly?
Donna Fleming August 18, 2013 at 07:37 PM
Shiri... You interjected Allah...into this forum, using if does not change content as many people scan these blogs. And, wonder what the heck? You have totally blown this out of proportion bringing lawsuits and Allah into a simple comment that there was an incident at Molly's and several of the patrons felt the server should have called 911. Hopefully Molly's will construct an emergency plan for any emergency that could cause harm to patrons or workers. That is the gist of this. If you decide to run over me with your car, please spell my name correctly... Donna. If you truly wanted to help our community you would not rely on the divide and conquer/rule a way of keeping yourself in a position of power by making the people under you disagree with each other so that they are unable to join together and remove you from your position. We need to come together as a community to take on big business like the water company or SDG& E. We need to look after each other, not threaten to run over another person making a comment. I am hoping that Molly's gets an emergency plan in place. Molly's is a favorite coffee shop in San Juan Capistrano. Have you eaten there even once?
Shripathi Kamath August 18, 2013 at 07:53 PM
"You have totally blown this out of proportion bringing lawsuits and Allah into a simple comment that there was an incident at Molly's and several of the patrons felt the server should have called 911." _____________________________________________________ You mean I wrote a post on the Shoutbox decreeing that servers have no right to not decide to call 911 when someone orders them to? _______________________________________________________ "please spell my name correctly... Donna." ____________________________________________________ [chuckles] I will, Donna, but physician, heal thyself. In other words, would you return the favor: it's 'Shripathi'. Or 'Shri' for short. ______________________________________________________ "You have totally blown this out of proportion bringing lawsuits and Allah into a simple comment that there was an incident at Molly's and several of the patrons felt the server should have called 911. " _____________________________________________________ au contraire madame Donna (<-- see, correct spelling) I asked you a simple question based on your assertion that a server has no right not to call 911 once you decide that she should. Because asserting that someone did not have an emergency plan, and that a server had no right to disobey your orders begs the question: under what circumstances should the server be allowed to exercise due judgment? ______________________________________________________ ' Molly's is a favorite coffee shop in San Juan Capistrano. Have you eaten there even once?' ______________________________________________________ Can't say that I have, but is it necessary to have eaten at Molly's to ask you questions about the right of servers not to call 911? Likewise, I have not been to Chernobyl, but I can ask someone whether vodka poisoned by radiation is still being sold in the neighborhood
Donna Fleming August 18, 2013 at 08:36 PM
Shri..Do you get paid by word count? Marie Antoinette, Chernobyl, Allah, and law suits, none of these subjects are related to the incident at Molly's coffee shop. Number one, I was advised to write the article and post it on this forum by the editor of the Patch. Number 2, the other patrons of Molly's gathered in the parking lot and agreed that 911 should have been called. (I did not decree that servers have no right to choose when to call.) Under what circumstances should the employees call 911, should be in the emergency evacuation plan. You really should stop by Molly's for lunch in San Juan Capistrano, even though you do not live in our fair city, you will find that they are a friendly bunch and I highly recommend their, "Eggs Benedict with Canadian Bacon". You will love it. Take care not to run me over as you park as I am there often.
Shripathi Kamath August 19, 2013 at 04:00 AM
Donna Fleming August 18, 2013 at 08:36 PM "Number one, I was advised to write the article and post it on this forum by the editor of the Patch. Number 2, the other patrons of Molly's gathered in the parking lot and agreed that 911 should have been called." ____________________________________________________ I care. ____________________________________________________ "I did not decree that servers have no right to choose when to call." ______________________________________________________ Then someone is posting using your account. Because they did say "It was not up to the server to decide, not to call 911" and then repeated it with "It was not the servers place to decide who was threatened."
Dan Avery August 19, 2013 at 01:13 PM
Wow, it's pretty clear that "the server" knew the young man. Otherwise how did she know he had autism? And it's pretty clear that Donna is one of those people who throw a fit when she doesn't get her own way; otherwise why would she take taken the time and trouble to write this down? Confronting the blank page is right up there with public speaking for most people. It's also pretty clear Donna is clinging to the rather feeble "you were not there" or ignorance as a defense, while practicing it herself by saying, repeatedly, "Molly's needs a plan." As Shri pointed out, Molly's may very well have a plan which includes letting the server access the risk. ---------------------------------------------------------------------- You know, folks, "odd" doesn't play well in Orange County. People have to patience for it here. "Odd" is right up there with Black, Liberal, Muslim and so on. We don't like the unfamiliar and everyone should just stop it and act like we do. End of list.
GreenInOC August 19, 2013 at 08:19 PM
Wait, people were so threatened they had to leave... as soon as they had their food boxed?! Perhaps, the restaurant does have a policy in place. Sounds like they know this customer and understood exactly what was needed. Nobody has to have been a witness to ask why didn't YOU call 9-1-1- if you felt so threatened? Where's your personal responsibility in this? We're you too busy supervising the boxing up of your food?!
GreenInOC August 19, 2013 at 08:22 PM
Also, the headline, "Molly's Restaurant was evacuated yesterday." If they were evacuated, which agency evacuated the restaurant? How did they learn of the "threat" that called for an evacuation? Perhaps you meant, "People Who Didn't Like What Was Happening Left Molly's Restaurant Yesterday - Right After They Got Their To-Go Boxes"?!
Donna Fleming August 20, 2013 at 01:18 PM
Learn of a threat? If you heard screaming would you look up to see where and who was yelling. A man about 200lbs sitting in a booth was yelling and could not be silenced. The waitress told me she thought he had autism. The older woman with him could not get him under control. I heard her say we need to leave and he started yelling at her. "No not home." You know this has been over talked. It is done. Not everyone took their food in a bag, but they had to pay and it was chaotic. I did not take my lunch. Some people had just been served so, they did. You did not have a choice to stay. All patron left the restaurant. I even tipped the server. Give it a rest. It's over done.
GreenInOC August 20, 2013 at 05:20 PM
@Donna Fleming, who took away your choice to stay?! "Was Evacuated" implies that a third party ordered the departure of everyone. What you are describing is people DECIDING to wrap up their stay by getting their food boxed up to go, settling their checks, tip (yay, you?), etc... If there was a real threat and an actual evacuation ordered, NONE of those things would have happened. Why has this topic been "over talked" , is it because your opinion is not being supported? Give it a rest? You posted this and I commented. Are you unsure of how that works?

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