Waitress accused of pulling knife on diners after complaint about service

Police arrested an IHOP server Friday after a family claimed that she brandished a steak knife at them after they complained about service at the restaurant.

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The waitress was charged with menacing, WNBC reported.

A woman told the news station that she visited the IHOP in Massapequa Park, New York, last week with her husband and their two young children, who both have special needs. The woman, who was not identified, said the family got poor service and asked to speak with a manager.

The manager asked the family to leave, WNBC reported, but before they did, they overheard a comment from a waitress about the children’s disabilities.

“All the wait staff engulfed us,” the unidentified woman told WNBC. She said the family got into an argument with the employees, and their waitress pulled out a steak knife.

In a social media post obtained by News 12 Long Island, the woman claimed that the family's waitress held a knife "in an attack matter" and "came at my two small children, my husband and myself."

Another employee took the knife from the waitress, the woman said. She added that the incident was caught on surveillance cameras.

At least one witness questioned the family’s story. Customer Ashley Gregory said the family was at fault and not their waitress.

“She did not come at (the alleged victim) with a knife,” Gregory told News 12 Long Island. “When they walked in, they were complaining about prices … I’ve been a waitress for many years, and it was sad the way they were treating that waitress.”

In a statement released to WNBC, IHOP franchise owner Camile Gnolfo said the restaurant is cooperating with authorities.

“Multiple employees reacted to what they viewed as an immediate threat to their personal safety,” Gnolfo said. “This was a situation that would be difficult for anyone to imagine, and we wish the outcome had been different.”