The Dobsons did not expect a police officer to speak to them when they stopped for dinner at a Subway restaurant.
An employee of the store in Coweta County, Georgia, called police on the family of seven on July 2, 2018, reported WSBTV.
The family stopped at the restaurant on their way back from vacation. They said they failed to understand why an employee placed the 911 call.
They wanted to eat dinner and did nothing wrong. The Dobsons felt it was a case of racism that triggered the call.
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The employee accused them of going back and forth to the bathroom and putting soda in water cups. They decided to have their dinner at a Subway on Newnan Crossing Boulevard.
The family had spent their weekend at their grandmother’s celebrating her birthday party in South Georgia. Felicia and Othniel Dobson were driving to North Carolina with their children, aged eight, 12, 13, and 19, and the children’s aunt.
Felicia said that her 24-year-old sister was a recent graduate of North Carolina A&T (State University), while her eldest daughter was entering the sophomore year at Wake Forest University.
They were at the restaurant for over an hour when the employee decided to place an urgent 911 call.
The person reported eight people in a van who kept going back and forth to the bathrooms by the back door requesting “somebody to come through” to the restaurant immediately.
A Newnan officer who showed up, later apologized to the Dobsons informing them that an employee was suspicious of the family because she had been robbed before and thought they would rob her.
Felicia said that there was no reason for her to feel threatened. “We can’t change our skin color. I have great kids. I have a great family,” she added.
In a statement to the news outlet, Subway franchisee Rosh Patel said that the restaurant was thoroughly investigating the claim and that they took it ‘very seriously.’
Patel insisted that the incident presented an opportunity for him to reiterate to his staff the importance of making every person feel welcomed at the store.
Felicia revealed that the owner called the family the next day and apologized for their experience. She also learned that the employee was sent on administrative leave.