Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Texas Roadhouse

On May 8, 2006, Detective Vicki Armel, 40, and Police Officer Michael Garbino, 53, were slain outside the Sully District Police Station in Chantilly, Virginia. The gunman, who also perished when officers returned fire, was Michael Kennedy; he fired more than seventy rounds from a wooded area near the station's parking lot. As details about Michael Kennedy emerged, residents here learned that Kennedy was mentally ill and that his parents had been attempting to get help for their son. On May 12, 2006, the Washington Times printed this article, a portion of which is excerpted below:
"Local police and mental health officials said yesterday that they had no authority to return to a Rockville psychiatric facility last month an 18-year-old escapee who earlier this week ambushed Fairfax County police officers in Chantilly.

"'In the state of Virginia, if someone voluntarily checks themselves into a mental health facility and leaves, they are able to leave, [unless] there is a detention order,' said Officer Beth Underhill, a spokeswoman for Fairfax County police. 'If you leave, police cannot pick you up.'...

"Michael William Kennedy, 18, of Centreville, was voluntarily admitted to Potomac Ridge Behavioral Health Center in Rockville at about 1 p.m. April 18. Center officials said that the door to his room had no lock, but that he was staying in a unit block that was secured.

"About seven hours after he had checked in, Kennedy broke a window [and] left the facility....

"Kennedy's friends and neighbors have said he had exhibited bizarre behavior, such as calling himself Jesus Christ and talking about invasions by zombies. Documents seized from Kennedy's home after the Monday afternoon ambush show that he had received treatment for mental health issues...."
For a few weeks following the officers' and Kennedy's deaths, various people weighed in as to what might have been done to prevent the terrible events of May 8. But after a short time, as do many news stories of this kind, the story faded.

This past week, The Texas Roadhouse, quite near the police station, made the front page of the local-news section of the September 12, 2006 Washington Post in an article entitled "It's Enough to Make Your Stomach Turn":
"Two Fairfax County officers lay mortally wounded in the parking lot of their Sully District police station. At the height of the crisis, anxious police cordoned off streets, closing down some businesses. The Texas Roadhouse restaurant just down the road had to shut its doors for a few hours that day in May and again on the next two Saturdays, when large crowds came out to honor the funeral processions for Detective Vicki Armel and Officer Michael Garbarino.

"So what did the restaurant do in the police department's time of loss? Offer to cater the funerals? Set up a food donation schedule for the bereaved families? Nah. The Texas Roadhouse in Chantilly counted up the pennies it had lost -- a total of about $9,000, the manager computed -- and turned to the police department with a formal request for compensation."
Wait. There's more:

"...[Restaurant manager Eric] Rainwater asked the police to dismiss $5,000 in fines that the restaurant had accumulated because its alarm system had repeatedly malfunctioned, summoning police for no reason...."

Columnist Marc Fisher, the author of the above-cited article, writes,
"The dictionary provides various definitions for 'chutzpah,' such as effrontery, unbelievable gall and utter nerve. None of these words comes close to describing what happened here."
The chief executive of Texas Roadhouse, the son a retired Virginia police officer, has apologized to the police department and has disciplined the manager of the local restaurant. The requests for compensation and for dropping fines have been withdrawn. But the restaurant's reputation here may well be permanently tarnished.

Columnist Marc Fisher concludes with a biting, final paragraph, a portion of which is excerpted below:
"[The manager of Texas Roadhouse exhibited] a blindness to others that we see all too often these days, even in businesses that rise or fall on customer satisfaction....[T]hink about the people you know and how they respond when they think they have been cheated -- think of the nasty e-mails they dash off, the angry calls, the righteous demands for compensation. Is what happened here really so inconceivable, so far from the kind of behavior we've come to accept in our daily lives?"
I didn't personally know Detective Armel and Officer Garbino. But on two Saturday mornings in a row, I passed by McLean Bible Church, which hosted services for both of the fallen officers. The attendance was enormous! Yes, traffic was congested that day, with attendees from all over the state and with rubberneckers amazed and moved by the sight of police motorcycles lined up on the knoll outside the church and officers standing at attention as they paid a final tribute to their own.

Apparently, the manager of Texas Roadhouse was moved by the loss of a few thousand dollars. In my view, his selfishness symbolizes part of what's wrong with our society today. The Me-First Generation is in charge!

Armel and Garabino Trust Fund


At 9/19/2006 5:57 PM, Blogger E. Rice said...

I worked Vicky Armel's and I can tell you that there wasn't a dry eye throughout the building. Over 4,000 policemen and women came to pay their respectsd and hear Vicky's amazing testamony. Everyone in attendance realized the lose of Vicky and Michael and it truly make me sick to think anyone could be so self absorbed in light of their deaths.
I'm so glad the reputation of the Texus Roadhouse has been tarnished - such a serious act of disrespect on the part of the manager should not go without a serious consequence!

At 9/19/2006 6:16 PM, Blogger The Merry Widow said...

AoW- What we are seeing has been fortold, that they would be lovers of self, WITHOUT NATURAL AFFECTIONS, i.e. no sense of fitness or right action, unable to see beyond themselves, it's all about ME, ME, ME and what I WANT!
That manager is very typical of this mindset. We will see more and more and more egregious examples as time goes on! Sadly! Fortunately, there are still plenty of people who want to do the right thing, thank G*D for them!


At 9/19/2006 6:34 PM, Blogger Raven said...

Wow. I'm glad the corporate leaders here stepped in and did the right thing. How rude and selfish...and demoralizing. Perhaps this manager will leave soon when his shop gets no customers. Then they can bring in a restaurant manager who knows how to win friends and influence people- by doing the right thing. Thanks for this AOW...even though it enraged me, it also gave me hope that mankind hasn't gone totally selfish!

At 9/19/2006 11:34 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Amazing. But at least the restaurant CEO has made some amends regarding the gross judgmental error by the manager, which will undoubtedly lead to a possible boycott of this 'chain' restaurant, which I have heard is badly overrated, and very pricey, a lot like Outback Steak House.

At 9/20/2006 9:50 AM, Blogger beakerkin said...

The rules and regulations over who can be institutionalized should be reexamined.

At 9/20/2006 10:45 AM, Blogger benning said...

I can understand the concern over lost revenue. But why wouldn't the manager simply call the home office and relate what was happening?

What a senseless fool.

At 9/20/2006 12:47 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

No... he felt he was a "victim" who "deserved" compensation. That's what "justice" is these days, isn't it? Cash renumeration for any perceived "wrongs"?

At 9/20/2006 12:50 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

hmmm, I wonder if this tactic would work against peace demonstrators.... merchants could sue 'em for lost revenue.

At 9/20/2006 3:03 PM, Anonymous Seth said...

Had I been the owner of the business, I would have been unable to discipline the manager -- you can't discipline a guy you've just fired on the spot.

What the manager took upon himself to do should, as Benning suggests, have been a home office call, and had corporate made the same call as the manager did, the establishment would have deserved to be driven out of business by a solid boycott.

At 9/20/2006 8:26 PM, Blogger Always On Watch said...

From what I've read and heard, there is now an informal boycott of Texas Roadhouse on the part of the police department. I can't say that I blame them!

Overpriced steak houses, as Steve mentioned, are overrated. I try to avoid them. I can fix a better meal at home if I get the right cut of meat. If my husband and I don't feel like cooking or if we're celebrating a special occasion, we order one dinner and pick it up, "to-go."

At 9/20/2006 8:28 PM, Blogger Always On Watch said...

E. Rice,
Like you, I fail to understand how money can take precedence over two fallen officers. Detective Armel and Officer Garbino had children, and Armel's are quite young. The loss to these officer's families are impossible to measure.

At 9/20/2006 8:40 PM, Blogger Always On Watch said...

Detective Armel is mentioned and highly praised in Pete Earley's book Crazy, which deals with the maze which a family has to wade through in order to get help for a loved one. What is so ironic is that Detective Armel went out of her way to help those desperate for mental healthcare; yet she perished at the hands of a young man who was, obviously, so disturbed.

I read Crazy this past summer; the book was published before Detective Armel was murdered. Pete Early also wrote a lengthy commentary about Armel in the WaPo after her death. Had she been able to serve longer, more of those who needed help with getting mental healthcare would have received help. I'm convinced of it.

Yes, the system needs a complete revamping. I recently learned that a parent has to fight the system to get help for a child who is only 14 years of age. In fact, getting help is well nigh impossible--until the unthinkable happens.

In his book Crazy, Earley mentions that the only way that he he could get help for his mentally disturbed son was to lie--to say that his son had tried to hurt him. Fortunately, the young man got the help and the medication he needed, but it was an uphill battle.

But why wouldn't the manager simply call the home office and relate what was happening?

Nobody seems to know that answer. Misplaced priorities after all the fines relating to the false alarms which the restaurant's fire-alarm system had generated?

Yes, and we see the manifestation of greed and the desire to attain and/or maintain status.

Perhaps this manager will leave soon when his shop gets no customers.

I suspect so. I can't help but wonder if he has other managerial issues.

At 9/20/2006 8:42 PM, Blogger Always On Watch said...

Had I been the owner of the business, I would have been unable to discipline the manager -- you can't discipline a guy you've just fired on the spot.

The manager probably didn't get fired because of certain employment regulations and corporate policies. But the just step would indeed have been the manager's immediate dismissal.

At 9/20/2006 8:43 PM, Blogger Always On Watch said...

Cash renumeration for any perceived "wrongs"?

Perceived wrongs seem to get the most apologies and the most cash.

At 9/20/2006 8:44 PM, Blogger Always On Watch said...

I wonder if this tactic would work against peace demonstrators.... merchants could sue 'em for lost revenue.

Where can we find an attorney to take such a case?

At 9/20/2006 8:58 PM, Blogger Old Soldier said...

"Where can we find an attorney to take such a case?"

Try the ACLU. On second thought scratch that idea because it would involve common sense and ethics to prosecute the case.

At 9/20/2006 9:53 PM, Blogger Publius said...

What goes around, comes around. They should be ashamed, but they should also be given credit for fixing what was a despicable mistake.

At 9/21/2006 5:44 AM, Blogger Always On Watch said...

Old Soldier,
I'm surprised that the restaurant manager didn't contact the ACLU to sue the corporate exec.

We live in the age of frivolous and ethically unjustifiable litigation. Outrage over perceived "wrongs" (Farmer's incisive terminology) dominates civil courts, our roads, and other aspects of our daily lives. And the ACLU has contributed to that trend--in part, because legal representation is pro bono.

In a way, the mistake (I'd use a different word, but I'm still on my first cup of coffee) was corrected. At least the higher-ups had some sense and, more importantly, compassion.

I can't get over the manager's wanting the fines for the false alarms nulled. IMO, that indicates to me that request by the manager is having other problems. Maybe his job is on the line for other reasons--I don't know. What did he say to himself? "As long as I'm at it asking for compensation for money my restaurant lost while two police officers were being honored, then buried, I might as well take a shot at getting those false-alarm fines dropped too?"

I think of it this way. Suppose I get a ticket for speeding and then prove in court that the radar gun was faulty or that my speedometer needed recalibration. In the same petition to the court, would I also say, "And I want my parking tickets nulled too"?

At 9/21/2006 5:48 AM, Blogger Obob said...

the bar I work at part time has a very good relationship with the law enforcement community. THey stop by around closing time for a cup of coffee to having retirement parties to giving one of the owners an honorary badge. It goes the same with the local fireman and teachers. They work hard and need a place to relax and feel at ease. Texas Roadhouse will feel that nationally.

At 9/21/2006 10:01 AM, Blogger American Crusader said...

I don't even qualify this as a "me first" mentality. This is so totally insensitive to not just the police officers but to the entire community. The manager stooped to levels that would have made Terrell Owens feel embarrassed. I would say boycott the restaurant, but the other employees should not be punished for his remarks. Instead they need to replace him. I wonder what was meant by "disciplined".

At 9/21/2006 10:06 AM, Blogger American Crusader said...

old soldier... unfortunatelyI'm sure you can find attorneys coming out of the woodwork to handle this case.

At 9/21/2006 10:29 AM, Blogger Brooke said...

Let me do some figuring...

Alarms: $5,000

"Lost revenue": $9,000

Total: $14,000

Divide by two= $7,000

I'm sure that the widows of those two fallen officers are pleased to know that their husband's lives were worth $7,000 apiece to the Texas Roadhouse.

Sure, the exec took apologized, but did he THEN offer to provide free dinner to the remaining family members, or to give dinner to the police department, or to even buy a vase of frickin' roses for the graves>

Nope. The damage is done, and no REAL gesture of regret has been made.

This restaurant deserves to be driven out of business.

Besides, have you ever seen how tiny their portions are compared to their prices? *snicker*

At 9/21/2006 10:36 AM, Blogger WomanHonorThyself said...

Of course loss of revenue is all that matters to shallow, selfish, unGodly folks...great find AOW.thanks for spreading the word.

At 9/21/2006 11:40 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You would think an apology would suffice for a preceived wrong (spirit for spirit). But we are living in a material world, and I am a material girl!

And I don't know any lawyers willing to work for spirit or a percentage for the recovery of it (apology) unless they an ulterior motive (read: ACLU).

At 9/21/2006 1:49 PM, Blogger Sean said...

"Are there still two sides to every story?"

Anytime a human life is lost to such circumstances it is truly a tragedy. We should all take a moment to pray for the fallen officers in Virginia and elsewhere.

However, there is one problem that I have with this story and the comments that have been made about the Manager. HAS ANYONE ACTUALLY READ THE LETTER THAT SPARKED THIS ISSUE? It is my understanding that even the author of the original article (Fisher) never saw the original letter and therefore couldn't possibly have had all the facts to come to the conclusions that were drawn. My point is this... I was taught at a very young age that you should gather ALL the facts before rendering an opinion. I have always considered this to be good advice and believe that it should definately apply in this case. Lets not crucify a person when only 1/2 of the facts have been brought to light. In closing, if this is the way people want their news, maybe Jerry Springer should be writing the column.

At 9/21/2006 1:52 PM, Blogger cube said...

Maybe they will experience a loss of customers as a result of their uncharitable nature. I hope so.

At 9/21/2006 2:17 PM, Blogger Mr. Ducky said...

That's what I call the Full Ayn Rand. I bet Dick Cheney is looking to hire these guys.

At 9/22/2006 6:59 AM, Blogger Always On Watch said...

Thanks for stopping by.

I was taught at a very young age that you should gather ALL the facts before rendering an opinion.

This blog, as are many other blogs, is a journal of sorts, not a investigation agency and not investigative journalism.

Commenters here express their opinions based on the information at hand. If you would like to publish the text of the letter written by the restaurant manager, you are free to provide it. The same applies to any retraction by the WaPo.

At 9/22/2006 7:00 AM, Blogger Always On Watch said...

Your Ayn-Rand needle is stuck.

At 9/22/2006 2:20 PM, Blogger kuhnkat said...


Little Che Sucky has to pick people and movements where he thinks he has a CHANCE of winning the dialogue.

When he actually addresses US he gets CREAMED (as in California Spinach)!!


At 9/22/2006 6:34 PM, Blogger Mr. Beamish the Instablepundit said...


You assume Ducky has actually read Ayn Rand. Whenever he does engage an Objectivist, or at least someone familiar with that philosophy, he becomes just as obviously clueless of the subject matter as he is on other topics.

Ducky should stick to subjects he knows in and out. But I'm not sure how many people want to know how many times he has to wipe his nose until his shirt is too crusty to wear.

At 9/22/2006 10:08 PM, Blogger kuhnkat said...


I said: "...where he thinks he has a CHANCE of winning..."

Sorry if I gave the impression I thought he knew what he was spewing!!!


Mr. BTIP said:

"But I'm not sure how many people want to know how many times he has to wipe his nose until his shirt is too crusty to wear."

Or whether he actually washes his left hand after wiping elsewhere!!


At 9/23/2006 6:21 AM, Blogger The Anti-Jihadist said...

The following letter was sent by a Sully District officer to Texas Roadhouse through the contact page on the restaurant's web site:

"It has come to my attention that I owe your establishment an apology. I am an officer with Fairfax County. Earlier this year, I had the unfortunate experience of listening as two of my co-workers died of gunshot wounds near your restaurant. The ensuing investigation, regrettably, blocked (from your account) thousands of dollars worth of hungry citizens from eating that night. I compounded this problem by participating in a funeral procession, not once but TWICE, for my co-workers and again blocked thousands of dollars worth of business from you. I humbly apologize for such egregious actions on my part and will endeavor to, in the future and to what extent I can, not allow petty police actions from interrupting your business. I have asked all my co-workers to heed this and next time pick a more commercially advantageous spot to be ambushed and killed. If anything, I have requested that they all die at once, such that multiple funeral processions will not be necessary. In an effort to make sure that I am effective in my efforts, I have barred myself, and all those I can influence from entering or even parking in your establishment. This way I can be sure that my presence will not have the same selfish and undesired affect. If there is anything else that I can do to make sure your establishment has a banner year, please feel free to contact me. I will forward this message to all concerned parties."

At 9/23/2006 7:58 PM, Blogger Brooke said...


I DO hope that they feel the anger over this right in the pocketbook which they seem so concerned with.

At 9/24/2006 6:32 AM, Blogger Always On Watch said...

Last night, my husband and I were out in the vicinity of the Texas Roadhouse in Sully. We were searching for a place to eat dinner. Our choice was NOT Texas Roadhouse.

At 9/24/2006 5:21 PM, Blogger American Crusader said...

Always On Watch said...

Your Ayn-Rand needle is stuck.

No kidding...I've never seen someone so fixated on the writings/philosophy of Ayn Rand

At 9/25/2006 3:42 PM, Blogger defiant_infidel said...

I wholeheartedly agree with Seth. The restaurant manager should have been fired instantly. Any self respecting CEO would risk the lawsuit, given the circumstances, if in fact that had any bearing on his actual decision (which I strongly doubt). Consequently, since the "reprimand" was a CEO decision, the Texas Roadhouse CHAIN has earned a boycott.

And the secondary concern for their employees who might suffer because of said boycott? If they had any self respect and decency, they would have hit the door upon learning of their manager's action. I know were I the management of a competing restaurant, I would be pleased to hire a former T.R.R. employee who left for such a reason.

At 9/26/2006 11:24 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

all I can say is as someone who was caught in the 12+ mile funeral procession with no advance notice and no detours setup is that I can certainly understand where the manager is coming from. I was stranded 3 miles fro my home for 4 hours as a result of this. and while I can understand the showing of sympathy and sadness is it really nessacary that , especially in thei day and age, that we have exactly ONE officer per car? to me that shows a great deal of financial and environmental irresponsability as well as a lack of concern for the neighborhood they are supposed to protect and serve.

At 9/27/2006 6:53 AM, Blogger Always On Watch said...

As a local resident, I too was inconvenienced. However, I think it's important to remember that the gunning down of the two police officers was an extremely unusual event.

Such a glitch in my own life pales in comparison to the loss the families of these officers suffered and continue to suffer. Having one officer per car (not the case in all the cars, as I witnessed for myself) is part of the ritual of a police funeral.

Furthermore, the funerals and processions brought comfort to those families, as well as to the Brotherhood of the Police. I know from personal experience about the comfort of a good turnout as I have buried most of my own family.

As to a great deal of financial and environmental irresponsability as well as a lack of concern for the neighborhood they are supposed to protect and serve, we're talking about funerals here, not day-after-day occurrences. As far as I've heard, there was no crime wave that day, nor was there any fire which burned out of control as a result of officers and firemen not being on duty. "Great deal" is an overstatement, IMO.

In certain local areas, spectators' traveling to Redskins' games snarl traffic in a similar way. I don't hear anybody whining about what Redskins' games do to traffic!

At 9/27/2006 6:55 AM, Blogger Always On Watch said...

Defiant Infidel,
[S]ince the "reprimand" was a CEO decision, the Texas Roadhouse CHAIN has earned a boycott.

Through the local grapevine, I've heard that many regular patrons are indeed no longer dining at Texas Roadhouse.

At 9/27/2006 9:19 PM, Blogger Brooke said...

I wonder, anonymous, if the four hours of your inconveinience is an equitable trade for the rest of that officer's life, and his families' lives that now lack a father and husband?

At 9/28/2006 5:19 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Not really no It isnt. The living must always take priority over the dead. But then I have always felt that we place far too much empasis on the dead in this society and not enough on the living that survive them. I have always believed, and practiced in my own family, that a funeral is a small private affair of short duration to celebrate the life of the passed and move on. Now despite my personal feelings I have no issue with the Action that occured, Rather my issue is with the manner in which it occured. Another Poster likend it a redskin game whic snarls up traffic for hours time and again. The difference here is I know when a redskin game will occur and can plan accordingly, This event occured with no advance notice and, what really got to me, no planning or alternate routes. Once you made the turn on to westfields from 28 you were stuck until it was over. I just dont feel it would have been too much to ask to have set up a detour down the otherside of the road across from the police station to allow a trickle of traffic to pass. but hey thats just my thoughts on it and yes I do still eat at the texas roadhouse infact I try to encourage others to go there as well.

At 9/28/2006 7:34 PM, Blogger Always On Watch said...

This event occured with no advance notice...

I don't know about the area in which you live, of course. But I do know that signs regarding the funeral services were posted for a few days in advance on Leesburg Pike, my commuting corridor. I thought that information about the funeral procession was also available in the newspaper, but because I don't live in the vicinity of Sully or of the cemeteries involved, I didn't take particular notice.

Another thought...The deaths of these two officers were not expected. In cases of sudden death, the funeral rites may serve a truly comforting function and, in my experience, those types of funeral rites following sudden death tend to be more elaborate.

As to my comparison with Redskin's games, I don't follow football at all and have been caught unawares several times when I've attemped to visit my family's graves at Fort Lincoln.

Hopefully--and this is serious, not snide on my part--such an event as that which resulted in the deaths of the two officers will not again occur.

At 9/29/2006 8:44 AM, Blogger kev said...

anonymous--two cops getting blown away, leaving grieving family and friends, can hardly be compared to a friggin' redskins game! Most of those millionaire participants in those types of GAMES wake up the next morning. I'm sure, if anyone could have consulted with the dead officers, or would have spoken with their family and colleagues, they surely would rather not have inconvenienced you in such a way. Sounds to me like you and the manager of that business are cut from the same cloth. By the way, and so you know in case you're similarly inconvenienced any time in the future, the reason there are sometimes only two cops in a car is because they come from other jurisdictions and even states, both far and near, and to plan mass transportation would be a nightmare. I am sure, had you taken time to notice, that most cars from nearer jurisdictions were full, but that wouldn't have fit your story. You could still have complained, however, because they had to use fuel to drive, sometimes up to 1,000 miles, to honor their own. The reason they travel so far just to inconvenience people? Because each one knows all the risks involved, the dangers involved, and still they do it, for pretty much average pay. You want real inconvenience? How about the families having to deal with completely unexpected violent deaths, no warnings, no illness, just gone. And not even for a good reason in this case. Sorry for your bother.

At 9/29/2006 6:26 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Kev, actually since I had nothing else to do I stood/sta there for about 2 hours and watched the case pass and in fact even the local cars semdom had more than one Officer to a car. and if you would take the tie to read *I* did not liken this to a Redskins Game, in fact Even the original post where it was mentioned in no way compared the officers deaths to a game. the only comparision that was made was the traffic situation resulting from each.
n addition my ONLY complaint here is not that traffic was stopped or even that I personally had to wait hours that had been unplanned in my day but that it would have been so incredibly easy to resolve this and handle it in a way so it minimized the impact on the community. Too often it seems that many decisions that have a wide ranging impact are with without regard for the consequences. Personally I would like to see the letter that was sent to ffx pd from the manager, after all that took a great deal of guts to send. And of course a great deal on the behalf of the police department to, instead of addressing it to leak it to the washington post instead. oh yes indeed.
heh if this keeps up I may just have to signup and get an ID here this is a great converation. its always good to see opposing viewpopints

At 9/29/2006 7:09 PM, Blogger Always On Watch said...

I, AOW, made the comparison to the Redskins' games because the home games tie up traffic. When I know that a home game will be played, I stay home. Not a fair comparison, though the impact on traffic can be similar if one is "in the wrong place at the wrong time."

heh if this keeps up I may just have to signup and get an ID here this is a great converation. its always good to see opposing viewpopints

Not all blogs allow for anonymous comments because of the tedium of deleting spam. However, I prefer a discussion forum. Reasoned dissent occurs here on a regular basis.

Personally I would like to see the letter that was sent to ffx pd from the manager, after all that took a great deal of guts to send. And of course a great deal on the behalf of the police department to, instead of addressing it to leak it to the washington post instead. oh yes indeed.

I wonder if the document is somehow available to the public. Was it really leaked to the WaPo, or did Marc Fisher obtain it another way? I don't know. I don't recall hearing the story anywhere else.

I wouldn't describe the letter as indicative of the manager's "guts."

At 9/30/2006 10:28 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It is my understanding from a very reliable source that Marc Fisher never saw the letter written by the manager and wrote his entire article without ever having read the actual document that caused all of this fuss. I was not a journalism major in college, but I do not believe the type of behavior demonstrated by Fisher would be considered responsible journalism. Finally, I would love to hear him comment on this (which I am sure he won't) and produce the letter for all of us if he actually has it, which I am sure he does not.

At 10/01/2006 9:56 AM, Blogger Always On Watch said...

I doubt that Marc Fisher will comment here, though he's probably seen the link to this blog on the WaPo's web page.

Many of Marc Fisher's columns touch hot buttons, and this particular one about TR is no exception.

As to "all this fuss," people have strong feelings of sorrow about the deaths of the two officers. That's understandable, I think.

You mentioned "responsible journalism." I'm not referring to Marc Fisher in particular when I say the following: responsible journalism is a rare commodity these days. In fact, journalism has become more like personal journals. Have you noticed that the layout of even hard-news stories has changed in the past few years? Editorializing is not limited to the editorial/commentary pages. I wonder if competing with blogs has been one cause of that change?

At 10/17/2006 5:14 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


At 10/17/2006 6:12 PM, Blogger Always On Watch said...

Thank you for stopping by and offering this partial explanation:


Such pressures are intense, as I know from personal experience. But keeping the focus is the "humanity" thing to do. Tough at times, of course.

At 12/13/2006 11:53 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ok, time to clear up a couple of things...
First, there WAS signage during the processions - if you recall, the overpass was under construction, but the acess lanes were OPEN, allowing traffic to cut over to Walney & beyond, and second, to those somehow wishing to explain away Mr. Rainwater's actions, note that it was Mr. Rainwater who FIRST linked his bill (btw, not unexpected - all commercial alarm systems are treated this way. If his location had not paid, they were in arrears... ) to the time of the murders and the following events.
It is HIS linking of the two that is the source of ill will.
Also - "loss of revenue"?? You've got to be kidding. Weekend afternoons in summer were not exactly busy there - we never once waited for a table (evenings are another story, but the parking lots were back open by then).
Besides, his business was quite full the evenings after both processions, so his calculus was suspect from the beginning.
I can't credit Mr. Rainwater with any more than complete hubris. He will never "get" the reaction he deserves, and we don't darken the doorway @ TR anymore.

At 12/13/2006 4:17 PM, Blogger Always On Watch said...

Thank you for stopping by and for clearing up those details!

I've never eaten at TR--nor do I plan to since this story appeared in the WaPo.

At 6/21/2007 4:37 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just wanted to say that i work at the Texas Roadhouse in Harrisburg, PA, and the things I've read here are absolutely deserved feelings. I just wanted to let everyone know that the "manager" that was involved here was not fired because TRH has managing partners which are the owners of the restaurant, which is what he is, the owner, in basic terms. But the other thing i wanted to say is that not all TRH's are like this one. Our restaurant does fundraisers on a weekly basis giving away 10% of our sales on on a given night which adds up to tens of thousands a year. And all in our area do others gestures for the community. So i am sorry to hear about the loss of these two men and my heart goes out to their families, but please do not hold it against the Texas Roadhouse name, but against that manager who was thinking only of himself.

and p.s. his insurance should have covered the losses.

At 6/21/2007 5:45 AM, Blogger Always On Watch said...

Thank you for stopping by!

You have made several excellent points which nobody else did. I love that last one about the insurance.


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