Waiter stands up for special-needs child

Houston waiter refuses to serve rude customer

Milo Castillo
Milo Castillo

HOUSTON – A Houston waiter refused to serve a customer who made a rude comment about a child in the restaurant.

Michael Garcia is a waiter at Laurenzo's Restaurant, 4412 Washington. He said his regular customers are like family, especially 5-year-old Milo Castillo and his parents.

"Normally when they arrive, I pick him up at the door and carry him to the table," Garcia said.

Milo was born with Down syndrome.

On Wednesday, Garcia said another diner moved his family away from Milo's table and made a comment about the boy.

"I heard the man say, 'Special needs children need to be special somewhere else," Garcia said.

Garcia said he then confronted the customer.

"My personal feelings took over and I told him, 'I'm not going to be able to serve you, sir,'" Garcia said. "He said, 'If you're not going to be able to serve us, then we'll leave.' Then I told him, 'How could you say that? How could you say that about a beautiful 5-year-old angel?'"

The man and his family left. Milo's parents said they didn't know about what happened until another waiter told them about it.

"I was really impressed that Michael would stand up for Milo," said Kim Castillo. "He really doesn't know us … he stood up for Milo just because it was the right thing to do."

Castillo said she was worried that Garcia might lose his job, but the restaurant stood behind his decision.

The story hit blogs and Garcia said he's been overwhelmed with comments from friends, family and strangers praising him for standing up for Milo.