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Crime

Video: Couple Wanted For Feasting On Steak and Lobster Before Dining and Dashing in South Bay, Then Running Over Restaurant Manager

12:24 PM PST on January 6, 2022

    photo via Ragin Cajun/Facebook

    Another day, another heavy blow to our confidence in local humanity.

    Not long after 2 PM on Monday afternoon, a manager at Redondo Beach’s celebrated, seven-year-old Ragin Cajun Cafe & Moonshine Bar was struck by a car driven by two diners skipping out on their $90 check.

    Parking lot security cameras show a dark reddish, older-model Chrysler barreling directly into the unnamed manager, who was standing in front of the ride trying to confront or stop the couple, launching him about ten yards onto the sidewalk. Fortunately, he survived with only a few small injuries.

    Now owners Lisa Briton Hodges and Steve Hodges are hoping someone can identify this dining-and-dashing, hitting-and-running duo. Lisa tells KCAL9/CBS, “Who could do this to anybody? It was very intentional. All of our crew is like family.”

    Grainy security footage shows the suspects–a masked man and woman—walking through the restaurant on the way to the bathroom amid their $90 patio feast, which included crab, steak, and lobster. Also known as things they won’t be eating once they’re sharing a 6x9 concrete space and bunk with a stranger and a combination toilet-and-sink.

    He stands at about 5’8” and a buck-70 with braids, a Batman t-shirt, and tattoos; she’s roughly 5’3” with brown hair. The two were asking for takeout boxes when they tried to split the scene, followed by the soon-to-be-struck manager, who jumped over the patio’s hay bales to get to them in a move the business owners say they don’t endorse as policy.

    Briton Hodges notes that dining and dashing has been on a recent upswing in her observations, possibly due to the rise of outdoor dining.

    Having been teen busboys ourselves, we know the sense of shame and failed duty servers feel when an indulgent eater gives you and your restaurant family the slip. As well as the desire to chase them down, confront them, then drag them whelping back to the kitchen where the sharp knives are kept.

    In the face of inevitable netbanger criticism and victim-blaming, an employee leaped to the defense of the restaurant, insisting that "the management at RCC never made us pay for someone else's lack of human decency and reassured us that we weren't too (sic) be blamed. Neither the manager nor the owners deserve finger-pointing."

    With our restaurants already struggling after surviving nearly two tough years of a public health pandemic and its ensuing regulation shifts, the selfish myopia of jumping out on a lunch bill could only be overshadowed by the cruelty of doing something worse, like running over an employee, smashing a window, robbing the place, or say, being a washed-up actor and calling some nice working person in Koreatown "garbage" and the C-word just for trying to protect other customers by asking them to wear their mask.

    The CBS video of the incident is below, with authorities seeking any information into the identities of these hungry, hungry sickos.

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