An IHOP server was arrested after allegedly grabbing a steak knife and threatening a couple and their two special needs children after an argument on Long Island, authorities say.
The mother tells NBC 4 New York she, her husband and their two kids, who are both younger than 4 and have special medical and learning needs, had poor service at the pancake house on Sunrise Highway in Massapequa Friday morning. They asked to speak to the manager and the manager asked them to leave. The mother says the family got up to leave, but heard another waitress comment about the kids' disabilities and turned back around.
At that point, the mother alleges, "all the wait staff engulfed us," an argument ensued and the waitress who had been serving the family grabbed a steak knife and threatened the parents and kids. The mother said another IHOP employee snatched the knife from the server. The family left.
No one was hurt, but the family was shaken up, she said.
The waitress was arrested on a charge of menacing and released on an appearance ticket, authorities said. She's due in court later this month.
It wasn't immediately clear why the manager allegedly asked the family to leave, and a person reached by phone at the Massapequa IHOP said employees were not supposed to discuss the matter.
On Monday, the owner of the IHOP franchise, Camile Gnolfo, released a statement saying the business was cooperating with the ongoing police investigation.
"This was a situation that would be difficult for anyone to imagine and we wish the outcome had been different," Gnolfo said in the statement.
"Multiple employees reacted to what they viewed as an immediate threat to their personal safety."