The Cheesecake Factory apologized to a MAGA hat-wearing Trump supporter who says he was mocked and harassed at a Miami location Sunday.
Eugenior Joseph, 22, was celebrating Mother’s Day with his girlfriend’s family at one of the restaurant chain’s locations, the Daily Wire reports.
“No guest should ever feel unwelcomed in one of our restaurants and we are taking this matter very seriously,” the chain said in a statement. “Upon learning of this incident, we immediately apologized to the guests in person. The individuals involved in the incident have been suspended pending the results of our investigation.”
No guest should ever feel unwelcome in one of our restaurants and we are taking this matter very seriously. Upon learning of this incident, we immediately apologized to the guests in person. The individuals involved have been suspended pending the results of our investigation.
— Cheesecake Factory (@Cheesecake) May 15, 2018
According to the Daily Wire, Joseph was first approached by a waitress who pointed at his hat and proceeded to attract the attention of her co-workers to mock Joseph.
As one witness recalled, “Her finger was literally on top of his head. We were all looking at her like, ‘What is happening?’ She was pointing at him, calling her other coworkers, telling them to look at this guy wearing a ‘Make America Great Again’ hat.
“So then all the employees started standing there,” the witness continued, “saying things out loud, like, ‘I’m going to knock his head in so hard his hat’s going to come off.”
Other witnesses claim that some of the staff called Joseph, who is black, the N-word, and another threateningly clenched his fists together while looking directly at Joseph. (RELATED: Starbucks Founder: ‘Unconscious Bias’ Training Is ‘Just The Beginning’)
As Joseph told The Daily Wire, “[A male employee] got behind me and another coworker came by and they were staring at each other and he fist bumped him and then he started looking at me, balling his fists, smacking his fists, trying to scare me.”
At one point, when Joseph and his girlfriend were walking back from the restroom together, “a group of [the employees] came out from the back and they just started clapping and yelling, and just screaming things at me,” Joseph said.
When Joseph and his girlfriend’s family made the decision to leave, they were allegedly escorted out by a manager, who informed the family that some of the employees involved in the harassment admitted to their actions and another was sent home.
Law enforcement reportedly made it to the scene as the family was exiting the restaurant, but it is unclear who called the police; employees were not charged.