Waiter Hears Customers Insult Boy With Down Syndrome

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A Texas waiter was about to serve a table of customers when he overheard them mocking a little boy with Down syndrome. Disgusted by their behavior, the waiter decided to teach them a lesson.

Michael Garcia
When Michael Garcia overheard a group mocking a child with special needs, he decided to take action. (Photo Credit: Screenshot)

As a 5-year-old with Down syndrome, Milo Castillo was presented with a new challenge every day. Of course, these daily struggles were always made easier when strangers responded with a little understanding and grace. Sadly, not everyone can be so decent.

Being a regular customer at Laurenzo’s Prime Rib in Houston, Texas, Kim Castillo knew the waitstaff at the steakhouse would go above and beyond to welcome her child. In fact, as soon as waiter Michael Garcia noticed Milo had arrived, he gleefully picked up the boy and carried him to his table. Unfortunately, a party of unsympathetic customers was about to change the atmosphere.

Kim Castillo (right) was eating at Laurenzo’s Prime Rib with her son, 5-year-old Milo (left) when a group of strangers suddenly changed tables and complained about “special needs children.” (Photo Credit: Facebook)

After a group of strangers had been seated, Kim said that they shot a dirty look at her son and then quickly moved to a table further away. Michael confirmed this behavior when he unintentionally caught wind of them talking among themselves about little Milo, he told KPRC. What he overheard shocked him.

“I heard the man say, ‘Special needs children need to be special somewhere else,'” Michael said.

Michael was appalled and infuriated. Taken aback, he realized that he had a choice to make. He could either keep silent and receive a much-needed tip, or he could speak up and risk losing not only the group of loyal customers but also his job of two years. Incredibly, his morals compelled him to act.

“At that point, I said, ‘I’m sorry, I can’t serve you. It’s not right what you said about that little boy,'” Michael recalled.

Michael Garcia
Michael Garcia told the group he wouldn’t serve them and confronted them about their treatment of Milo. (Photo Credit: Screenshot)

However, Michael didn’t just decline service. He chose to defend Milo and confront the group over their disgusting behavior, NBC News reported.

“‘How could you say that?’” Michael said he asked the man before he left the restaurant with his party. “‘How could you say that about a beautiful 5-year-old angel?’”

While Kim had noticed the group change tables, she only later discovered what they had said about her son. When she found out Michael’s response, she couldn’t contain her gratitude.

“I was impressed that somebody would step out of their own comfort level and put their job on the line as well as to stand up for somebody else,” the grateful mother said. “I know Michael did it from his heart, and from reacting to the situation. I don’t think he stopped and thought about what he was doing.”

Michael Garcia risked his job by kicking out the group, as they were regular patrons, but was later rewarded for defending Milo. (Photo Credit: Provided)

Later, Kim shared Michael’s courageous response online, garnering an outpouring of support for the waiter. Soon, strangers were sending Michael cash donations, which he gave to Milo’s school, saying he wanted to start a scholarship to bring awareness to bullying.

“I can’t believe how this has taken off,” Michael said. “The support has been amazing. I’ve met so many wonderful children.”

Michael often thinks about the confrontation and wishes there was more he could have done. It confounds him that anyone could despise children with disabilities, he said.

“Why would you want to say anything about anybody because they don’t look the same as you or are different?” Michael asked.

Michael Garcia
Michael Garcia raised money and awareness for special needs children, including his buddy Milo. (Photo Credit: Screenshot)

Kim said she had witnessed people give Milo dirty looks or pull their children away from him in an effort to prevent them from playing together. As such, Michael’s act of kindness gave her hope for her son’s future.

Michael said he will continue to stand up against discrimination and bullying of children with disabilities in every way that he can. He hopes that his choice to say something will motivate others to stand up for the vulnerable no matter the cost.