Let me begin by saying that while others spend every night partying, we spend most nights drinking coffee, and hanging out with our friends at Denny's. Whave a "our" Denny's, we're regulars there, and well-taken care of by the amazing staff.
That being said, the other night, my darling fiance, Mark, and I, along with our roomate Rick, journeyed to Denny's to meet our friends Spencer and Parker to have dinner and, of course, coffee. It was a nice night, comfortable out, especially nice since there is no smoking inside most places in Austin (stupid city ordinance). So the 5 of us are enjoying a nice, relaxing evening. Our favorite waiter, Travis, someone we consider a friend, has returned to graveyard shift (having been on morning shift for a month or so). It was a good night. Well, after we've been there a while, one of the guys in the group a few booths down says "Holy shit, That dudes beating the shit outta someone in the parking lot!" We turn to look out the window that is directly behind us. The guy says "They're in the car now. Look!" Spencer says "Yeah, yeah he's beating her." He apparently saw the male in the car grab the female (who was in the driver's seat) by the throat or shirt and pull her damn near across the console (as he would later tell me and the officer). I saw what I am almost sure was him choking her, her head shaking about violently.
Just as I say "Someone call 911" Travis runs out the door, by himself, toward the car. All I know at this point is that there is an obviously violent man beating a woman and our friend is running out by himself to do something about it. So I shout "Get up get up!!" to my groupand before I know it I am barreling full force out the door and down the sidewalk to the parking lot (let me mention here that I had just the night before severely twisted my ankle, had it in a brace, and was limping a lot, except now when I was running with all my might). I get out there, along with Mark and our friends and about 15 other people from inside, just in time for the car to start pulling away. But about 5 of us get the plates number, so we take it inside and another waiter, who is already on the phone with the dispatcher, gives her the numbers.
We head back out for a smoke just as an officer arrives on the scene. We give him the information and he says that they have patrols out for the car, but at this point the best chance to catch the guy would be if he came back - which isn't, of course, likely. After this, Travis proceeds to tell us the whole story. Apparently, this man was intoxicated and rude. He and his girlfriend or wife or whatever order food to go, and while they are waiting for it, they begin arguing, which culminates in him throwing a glass of water in her face (not the glass, just the water). They walked out, argued a bit more outside and then headed to the car and, of course, we saw the rest after that. Spencer asks if she left anything here, anything she may have to return for. Travis says no, he checked. Nothing. We all express our hopes that somehow, they find them. Because who knows what might happen to her if the cops don't find them. I mean, he was choking her. And having been in an abusive relationship before, I feel for her, and hope she'll be okay.
We go back in and sit down. After about 10 minutes, I get the sudden urge to look out the window again. And there it is, the car from earlier. Just as I am about to say something, Spencer says "That's them." We inform Travis and then get up to "go have a cigarette." Asshole Woman Beater enters the resturaunt and begins telling another waiter "I'm sorry for what happened in the parking lot, can we get our food still?" So while they keep him busy in there, we stand outside, calling the police. I get handed the phone, talk to the dispatcher and she says an officer should be there soon. Meanwhile, the girl in the car backs out of her space and acts like she's going to split and leave Asshole Guy there. We hope she does. But she doesn't, instead pulling back into a space. Asshole guy, who's been 20 feet from me (just through the doors) while I described him to the dispatcher, exits and gets into the car. At that momtne, the patrol car is turning the corner. For a moment, I anticipate a chase. But then, the girl goes the werong way, trying to leave the parking lot through the back. Of course, there is no back exit to the parking lot, so they have to turn around, and by now, the officer is getting out of his car as we point at Asshole Guy and the girl, who are now coming back around. the officer runs to the car, flashlight in hand and yells for them to stop the vehicle. The girl is still driving, and she stops, then moves forward just a bit, obviously contemplating just going (certainly Asshole Guy was telling her not to stop), but she does stop. Suddenly there are 3 other patrol cars, Asshole Guy in cuffed and sitting down and they spend 30 minutes talking to them and searching the car. After a half an hour, an officer comes to take my statement and my pertinent information, since I saw what was going on in the car, as well as Spencer's statement and information.
FInally, they put Asshole Guy in a car and drive him off. And the girl, too, as she was driving while intoxicated. And inpound the car, which takes over an hour after the situation is over. And of course, it was blocking my car in.
And that was our exciting night at Denny's. So far, no one has called me about it. I just hope that girl will be smart enough to stay away from the asshole now.
I have a million more funny stories about Denny's, but that was the most recent one.