How do businesses deal with unruly customers after shooting rampage?



Posted on June 1, 2012 at 5:30 PM

Updated Friday, Jun 1 at 6:00 PM

SEATTLE – Patrons at Café Racer say the gunman in Wednesday’s deadly shootings had a history of being a troublemaker and had been asked several times to leave.

It’s a part of the job that many businesses have to deal with – the unruly customer. In Wednesday’s case, customer Ian Stawicki pulled out a gun and opened fire, killing four people in the restaurant. Minutes later, he killed another woman in downtown Seattle.

So what do business owners and employees do when they have a customer that’s a little scary or strange?

"I just pay a lot of attention to my intuition and when things seem off, I listen to that,” said Rosemary Crawford of Seattle’s Anchor Coffee.

Dil Maharjan at Rain City Burgers says he always tries to diffuse a situation by being kind.

“We just deal with them very courteously and we always treat them very well,” said Maharjan.

Nick Park at Sunlight Café, just two blocks from Café Racer, says it’s more complicated than that.

“The biggest challenge is assessing the person’s degree of volatility,” said Park.

At Rick Perry’s Thailand Junkie Gift Shop at First Avenue and Stewart Street, they get all kinds of characters.

“Generally, we get someone odd in the store. We just see if we can help them,” said Rick.

All of the business owners we spoke to Friday said Café Racer did what any of them would do in that situation.