A fight inside a Fort Wayne IHOP has gone viral. Multiple videos have surfaced of a server getting attacked by a group of people inside the branch at 4403 Coldwater Rd.
The situation started just after midnight on December 14, 2018. Deazah Edwards said she was unexpectedly attacked.
“I wasn’t able to think of what to do, how to get myself out of it,” she explained.
She said that night a customer came in and was upset that her server was breathing on her food. So Edwards relieved that co-worker by taking over the table as server.
The customer continued to be angry and eventually threatened Edwards, saying she wanted to fight her and would wait for her outside with her friends.
The customer and her friends berated Edwards as they slowly left the restaurant, even after the manager paid the customer’s bill for her as a courtesy.
At one point the customer bumps into Edwards shoulder aggressively. Edwards pushes her away. That’s when the woman’s friends, including 3 men, ran at her and began punching her. Five people attacked her in total (the full video of the fight can be seen below).
“When everyone kind of rushed at me, it just happened so fast and seeing the aftermath and watching the video of what actually happened, it was sad,” Edwards said. “I felt like I wasn’t protected at all. My manager didn’t protect me or my coworkers. One of my coworkers just kept walking by to do what he was doing and I felt like no one genuinely helped. Nobody cared and that was really hurtful because that was supposed to be my safe place.”
Edwards said she asked her manager for help multiple times and never got it. She said the police were notified after the fight and did not arrive until the group of attackers were gone. Four days later, Edwards was fired with no explanation.
“I feel like nothing was justified,” she said. “There was really no justice. I was fired like a week before Christmas. I am behind in bills. I feel like no one explained why I was let go when I was the victim of the situation.”
Edwards suffered a bruised arm and stomach, a busted lip, and scratches on and around her eye.
The Coldwater IHOP branch is owned by Romulus Restaurant Group.
A representative at Romulus told WANE 15, “No comment. Deazah’s case is under investigation.”
Edwards was told by that same representative that they are working on a new safety plan, and take this fight as a learning experience.
An IHOP spokesperson told WANE 15 they do not comment on decisions made by their franchisees. They then stated that, “Neither IHOP or our franchisees condone violence of any kind in our restaurants.”
Romulus has offered Edwards a job at another IHOP branch if she’d like it. She said she’s unlikely to accept the offer, but does plan to sue IHOP and the group of people that attacked her.