Irate customer gets physical with owner of popular Mission pupuseria
SAN FRANCISCO - A San Francisco restaurant owner defended her daughter and 2-year-old grandson against an irate customer. It happened inside Panchita's Pupuseria & Restaurant in the Mission District. The incident was captured on surveillance video.
Doris Campos said she's been running her restaurant for 30 years and has dealt with her fair share of disruptive customers. But she said no one has ever attacked her or her family physically until now.
Campos said she was preparing food in the kitchen a customer caused a commotion and became violent. Campos said she took action to defend her family.
"For my family, for my daughter, for my grandson. I had to do whatever I had to do in that moment. I don't have a choice," she said.
She shared surveillance video showing a female customer who became irate while waiting for her takeout order around 8:30 Friday night.
She was seen taking a bag of food off the table that appears to belong to another customer and placing it on the floor.
When Campos's daughter also named Doris, but with the last name Vargas, confronted her, Vargas said the woman started cursing.
"She was so upset, she started throwing stuff at us," Vargas said.
In the video, the woman can be seen throwing one small bottle of hand sanitizer, followed by a larger bottle.
Vargas said the woman was throwing the items at her while Vargas was carrying her two-year-old son.
That's when owner Campos said her motherly and grandmotherly instincts kicked in. She literally turned the table on the woman and used it to try to get her out of the restaurant.
"I picked up the table because I don't want to touch her. I don't want to be close to her because of the [pandemic] so I tried to control her with the table. She's crazy," Campos said.
The customer is seen falling in the video. Campos said the woman called the police and claimed that she was assaulted, but that she left before officers arrived.
The mother and daughter said they want the woman identified and held accountable.
"Small businesses are struggling a lot during the pandemic and to have customers act this way is really unacceptable," Vargas said.
"She should be in jail because she's not right, what she did," Campos said.
The woman is described as being Hispanic, with brown hair, 5 feet 3 inches tall. She was wearing an olive green jacket and jeans with glitter.