Moral Low Ground

Civil Liberties

‘The Moral High Ground’: Houston Waiter Michael Garcia Stands Up for Special Needs Child

A Texas steakhouse waiter is being applauded for refusing to serve a customer who made a disparaging remark about a child with Down syndrome.

Michael Garcia has been working at Laurenzo’s on Washington, a downtown Houston prime rib restaurant, for two years. Over that time, the Castillo family, including 5-year-old Milo, who has Down syndrome, have been regular customers. So has another family. On Wednesday, the two groups would be part of an unfortunate incident that ended with the Castillos leaving and Garcia being hailed as something of a hero.

According to KTRK, the second group, who was seated in a booth near the Castillos, objected to being so close to Milo.

“So we were sitting and all of a sudden I noticed that the family across from us got up and moved to the back of the restaurant,” said Kim Castillo, Milo’s mother. “I thought, I wonder if they’re moving because of us?”

They apparently were. According to Garcia, a man with the group said, “Special needs children need to be special somewhere else.”

“It was very disturbing,” the waiter told KTRK. “My personal feelings just took over and I told this man, ‘I’m sorry, I can’t serve you.'” The offending family quickly left the restaurant.

“it upset me,” Garcia said. “He’s a five-year-old little boy. He’s an angel. He’s precious!”

Later that evening, the Castillos found out what Garcia had done.

“What went through my mind was that I was just so impressed and felt so good that somebody would stand up for another human being,” Kim told KTRK.

Word of Garcia’s good deed was has spread rapidly, and the waiter has received heaps of praise from Laurenzo’s customers and on social media sites.

“I think he did the right thing– there’s the door,” customer Bill Baker told KTRK.

“Kudos! Give that waiter a raise and a paid vacation,” Facebook user Jon Athan commented.

Restaurant management has stood by Garcia’s decision to refuse service to the offending group.

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