A Denver woman’s Facebook post about a local restaurant that refused service to a homeless man is going viral.
Vanessa Varona was dining at Taqueria Mexico on Jan. 7 when a homeless man walked in looking for food, KDRV reported.
She offered to buy the homeless man food. Another customer asked the homeless man to sit at his booth so they could eat together, but a restaurant employee wouldn’t allow it.
“Here comes a waitress and basically stood him up and said no you can’t sit down here,” Varona told KDRV. “How do you treat people like that?”
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Varona took to Facebook to provide more details on the incident. The post has been shared nearly 7,000 times as of Jan. 12. She wrote:
#PleaseKeepSharing I'm sure you'll love this! So I went to Taqueria Mexico off 3800 West Colfax right at the corner of Newton and a homeless guy went in to look at a menu and I offered to buy his food. Then another customer ask the man to sit with him. So one of the waitress named Rena came and told him he couldn't sit with him and he had to take his food and leave! I said no! He is human just like us and you will not treat him any different. The waitress kept telling him to go so as he started walking out I told him to sit with me so I sat on the outside of the booth. I told the waitress as long as I'm here you will not treat him like he's garbage! She kept coming up to our table being very disrespectful. My friend Janet Richie called to speak to owner and he basically laughed and said he will not allow customers to by homeless people food.....are you serious!!! He said he will refuse me service now because I bought this man food. Homeless or not he's still a human being! He deserves to be treated with the same respect. So lets please get the word out about this place. I want everyone to know what kind of people run this place!
But Taqueria Mexico employee Adiel Estrada refuted Varona’s claims.
“That actually wasn’t the case,” Estrada told KDVR. “It wasn’t so much we kicked him out because he was homeless. He was drunk. He had been drinking so we asked him politely to leave.”
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Estrada provided security footage to the news station, which showed the homeless man hovering over a table of leftovers and approaching a customer sitting at a booth.
“The owner’s policy is we can’t have homeless people coming in to disrupt customers that are enjoying their meals,” Estrada explained.
Estrada said the restaurant was within its rights to refuse the homeless man service in this case but admitted the waitress went too far.
“When [Varona] had him sit down, at that point there really wasn’t much of a problem,” Estrada said. “We kind of should have just left it alone at a certain point.”
“They shouldn’t feel like garbage,” Varona said. “If he goes in to eat and people want him to sit, let him feel normal.”