I was walking by a restaurant in the Marigny today and I saw a friend of mine, and his son, sitting outside at the tables.
There were several staff members standing around yelling at him and generally shaking him around, while he just sat there holding his head and not saying anything.
Since obviously something was very wrong I went over to see what was up, and immediately was being screamed at by no less than three waiters and waitresses, telling me that my friend had gone inside, ordered for himself and his son, and then gotten up before the food could arrive and gone to sit at an outside table.
He'd left his jacket, his sons jacket, his wallet and his car keys inside, so it was clear to ME at least that he wasn't walking off and leaving.
They said they'd gone outside to tell him his food was ready and he refused to answer them, acknowledge them, or respond to them. Likewise he was refusing to respond to his son.
Their immediate assumption seemed to be that yelling and tugging at him, as well as threatening and calling him names, was going to help.
I don't think it takes a genius to figure out that when someone comes in and is normal and coherent and then gets up and goes outside and is sitting there holding his head on and refusing to respond that THERE"S SOMETHING WRONG WITH HIM! He's not being an asshole!
I tried to ask him what was up and he wouldn't talk to me either. He honestly didn't even seem to be aware that anyone was there.
At this point one of the waitresses started screeching about drugs and rock stars (he's a member of a band that was at one time extremely successful and is still somewhat nationally known, though i think "rock star" is pushing it somewhat) and what a sin it was that he'd go out all fucked up with his little boy.
I know the guy, I know he's not into the drug scene and would never do anything to put his son in danger, and so I told them that clearly there was something wrong but that I would just call his wife to come get him and I'd sit there till she got there so they didn't have to worry about the child.
No. No, that wasn't good enough. He hadn't paid for his food! Not only that but they'd already asked him to leave and he was refusing to leave. They were calling the police.
So....they wanted him to leave...but they didn't want me to call somebody to come get him because he hadn't paid for his meal....but they were furious because he hadn't left when they'd asked him to.
They were also calling the police and one of them was yakkiing about calling child welfare.
Nobody seemed to think that maybe someone should be getting him some medical help! I suggested it and they told me the police would decide that.
I went ahead and called his wife, who told me she'd be right there, and meanwhile the police showed up and were equally ridiculous. Tugging him, shaking him, yelling at him, calling him names, threatening to arrest him, threatening to take his child, and at no time did it seem important to them that the man was almost completely unresponsive. I say almost because he did shake them off every time they touched him, which of course the police chose to interpret as assaultive behavior. To my remark that it was defensive behavior they responded that if I said anything else they were going to arrest ME!
I absolutely could not believe the reaction of all of these people.
The restaurant also told the police that they wanted him arrested for refusing to pay for his meal.
He wasn't refusing, he clearly wasn't able to respond to them.
The police were also more than willing to arrest him for refusing to pay for his meal....keep in mind his wallet, car keys and other possessions were sitting inside on the table. If they'd really needed to they could have simply taken whatever he owed them out of his wallet. He obviously wasn't refusing.
His wife arrived at about the time they were going to simply cuff him and put him in a car...cuff him.
She of course immediately had someone bring her his wallet and keys, paid for his meal, and told the police that he was clearly sick and she was taking him home. Once the restaurant had their cash and were sure they'd be relieved of his unresponsive presence they shut right up and the police were willing to let her take him home.
I found out later that what had happened was that he'd gotten a migraine and had taken a new medication he'd just been given, and had an unusual reaction to it. He said later that one of the reasons he wasn't moving or talking was because he was in so much pain he wasn't sure what was going on anyway, and that the medication had mixed him up to the point where he wasn't able to make sense of or understand anything anyone was saying to him.
He said he couldn't see anything, couldn't understand anything anyone was saying, and was really confused about where he was, what was going on, or what he was STUCK in.
He was interpreting their pulling and tugging on him as being caught in something he couldnt get out of. He was just extremely confused, unable to see and in a lot of pain. He actually ended up at the emergency room.
But I couldn't believe that he would be treated like that.....as if he was doing something terribly wrong and was just generally being an asshole. They were willing to have him arrested! And to just assume that he was on drugs because he's a musician?
I don't know....I think the whole thing is despicable on the part of every single person who worked at that restaurant and the police department.
What do y'all think?