Employees at a Miami Cheesecake Factory reportedly intimidated a black Trump supporter dining at their establishment for simply wearing a red MAGA hat.
What are the details?
Eugenior Joseph, the 22-year-old Trump supporter in question, recalled his experience to The Daily Wire, noting that his Mother’s Day lunch Sunday with his girlfriend’s family didn’t go as planned.
According to The Daily Wire’s report, at least a dozen employees “verbally attacked and made threatening gestures” at Joseph for wearing the hat.
A woman who reportedly worked at the restaurant spotted Joseph and approached him as he sat at his table. According to his account, she began pointing at his hat and gesturing for other employees to come over to his table.
The Daily Wire reported that about a dozen other Cheesecake Factory employees approached Joseph’s table and began haranguing him.
Some of the employees allegedly voiced a desire to physically harm Joseph over the Trump accoutrement, while others reportedly referred to Joseph as the N-word while speaking to one another.
The Daily Wire interviewed other witnesses, who corroborated Joseph’s account.
One of the witnesses to the alleged incident said, “[A female employee’s] finger was literally on top of [Joseph’s] head. We were all looking at her like ‘What is happening?’ She was pointing at him, calling her other co-workers, telling them to look at this guy wearing a Make America Great Again hat.”
The witness added, “Then all the employees started standing there, saying things out loud, like, ‘I’m going to knock his head in so hard his hat’s going to come off.”
Another witness said that staff could also be heard booing from the kitchen.
Joseph told the outlet that one of the employees made menacing gestures as if to prepare for a physical fight.
“[A male employee] got behind me and another co-worker 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,” Joseph explained.
The harassment continued even when Joseph left the table to visit the men’s room.
“I got up and went to the restroom, my girlfriend followed me, and as we were walking back, a group of [the employees] came out from the back and they just started clapping and yelling, and just screaming things at me,” Joseph added.
Joseph and his dining companions eventually left the establishment.
Several witnesses told The Daily Wire that as Joseph and his party left the restaurant, the franchise’s manager told them that several employees admitted their wrongdoing and one of them had been sent home.
Police were reportedly called over the incident, but Joseph declined to press charges, and instead simply provided his account of the event to law enforcement.
Joseph told the outlet that he wears the MAGA hat because he believes Trump “is a really good president.”
He also expressed his disappointment that he, a black man, cannot wear the MAGA hat without being subjected to harassment.
What has the restaurant said?
On Twitter, a representative for The Cheesecake Factory responded to The Daily Wire’s report and wrote, “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.”
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
Alethea Rowe, senior director of public relations at The Cheesecake Factory, provided the same statement directly to The Daily Wire.