Dine-and-Dash duo meet Redondo Beach restaurant manager with a car

Two people trying to flee a restaurant in Redondo Beach without paying their bill hit a manager with their car – and it was all caught on camera.

The incident happened Monday afternoon at the Ragin Cajun Cafe on the Pacific Coast Highway.

Lisa Hodges, who owns the restaurant with her husband, Steve, said the couple sat at an outdoor table and racked up $90 worth of food before asking for takeout containers and their bill.

But the duo – described as a man and a woman in their early to mid-twenties – left the table without paying, and were already in their car and starting to drive away when the manager noticed.

The manager, who has not been identified, jumped over a barrier of hay bales and stood in front of the car while demanding the couple pay their bill. Hodges said he wasn’t touching the car or being aggressive.

“They could have backtracked. They could have moved around him, but they didn’t,” she said. “They chose to press the gas and hit it – and they hit it hard.”

Security camera footage shows a red sedan speeding up and hitting the manager. Hodges said the man was carried about 30 feet on the hood of the car and only fell when the driver made a sharp turn while maneuvering onto the Pacific Coast Highway.

The manager “was very shaken up,” Hodges said. He had bruises around his knees, and his ankle and wrist were very sore, but “luckily he didn’t hit his head”.

He rested at home for a few days before returning to work on Wednesday.

Hodges said “dining and rushing” is sadly common, including cases of people using fraudulent credit cards.

But Monday’s violent incident came on the heels of a particularly difficult time for the restaurant industry, which saw some customers tip less or be made worse by COVID-19 guidelines, she said. declared. The manager remained among the key employees of the small family restaurant “through all the craziness”.

“It’s just one of the many things you deal with in the restaurant industry,” Hodges said. But she was grateful for an outpouring of phone calls and support from the community.

“We just have to keep moving forward. Just stay positive,” she said.

Anyone with information about the incident is asked to contact the Redondo Beach Police Department at (310) 379-2477.

About Vivian J. Smith

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