Waiter honored for defending special needs boy

Michael Garcia makes donation to The Rise School of Houston

HOUSTON - A waiter who stood up for a special needs child was honored by the boy's school on Thursday.

Michael Garcia, a waiter at Laurenzo's, 4412 Washington, recently refused to serve a customer who made a rude comment about 5-year-old Milo Castillo, who was having dinner with his parents.

"I heard the man say, 'Special needs children need to be special somewhere else,'" Garcia said. "At that point, I said, 'I'm sorry, I can't serve you. It's not right what you said about that little boy.'"

Since KPRC Local 2 aired the story on Jan. 18, Garcia said he's received many thanks and donations.

"I've gotten letters. I've gotten phone calls. I've gotten Facebook messages. People are sending contributions and gifts," Garcia said.

On Thursday, Milo's school, The Rise School of Houston, held a ceremony to thank Garcia for standing up for what's right.

"I can't believe how this has taken off," Garcia said. "The support has been amazing. I've met so many wonderful children."

Garcia donated the money sent to him to help the school.

"I have a check here for $1,145," Garcia said.

Garcia said he wants to start a scholarship for the school to bring awareness to bullying. He also said he hopes everyone won't be afraid to speak up for someone else.

"Why would you want to say anything about anybody because they don't look the same as you or are different?" Garcia said.

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