A video of what appears to be a homeless man being kicked out of a Fresno Denny’s despite other customers’ protests has gone viral.
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Denny’s responded Tuesday afternoon, saying the man has a history of eating without paying.
The video was taken at the Denny’s on Abby Street near Divisadero Street just north of downtown by Becca Jay Davis, who posted it on her Facebook page late Monday morning. By Tuesday morning, it had 2,500 shares and 97,000 views.
The video shows a “public safety officer” putting on plastic gloves as he tells a man sitting quietly at a table to leave.
Several customers nearby came to the diner’s defense, asking why he was being kicked out.
“He’s not allowed in here,” said the guard.
A woman replies: “Is that why he’s not allowed in here, because he’s homeless?”
The woman filming the video, presumably Davis, said the man had been sitting quietly for 25 minutes and had not done anything disruptive.
She said in her Facebook comments: “He was in there when we walked in a family had sat him down with them... We was there for at least 25 minutes the man ain’t said not 1 word... The family was paying for him to eat and all of a sudden his ass walks in and start harassing the man putting them gloves on... Smh.”
At one point, the security guard tells Davis that recording is not allowed.
The man eventually leaves willingly with what appears to be his food packed up in a container.
Denny’s Corporation emailed this statement to The Bee on Tuesday afternoon: ““One of our guiding principles at Denny’s is that we welcome all of our guests with open arms no matter their background. In this particular instance, the man was asked to leave the restaurant due to repeated instances of dining as a guest and leaving without paying. As we continue to look into this specific incident, we will continue to work with our team members and security staff to ensure that no guest ever feels unwelcome at our restaurants.”
Robert Graham, a Fresno resident who said he’s dined at that Denny’s several times, called The Bee to say he’s seen the man in there before, and seen him get kicked out before.
The man rambles to himself, he said.
“People want to go in there and enjoy their meal,” Graham said. “The man smells like urine. Why make a big deal of this? He’s homeless. He has no right to be there.”
Comments on the video on Facebook widely condemned Denny’s.