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Patron Alleges “studying downstairs at the Panera in Dupont Circle and a man had his pants fully down and was masturbating – manager asked if I wanted a cookie or anything”

by Prince Of Petworth August 21, 2014 at 10:45 am 71 Comments

panera_dupont
1350 Connecticut Avenue, NW

A reader forwards this disturbing allegation via Jezebel from Collective Action DC:

I was studying downstairs at the Panera in Dupont Circle when I looked to my right and a man had his pants fully down and was masturbating in my direction. I screamed and ran upstairs to get a manager. The man walked past me and the manager on the stairs and I pointed him out. The manager asked if I wanted a cookie or anything. I told him I wanted him to call the police. He asked which seat the man was in so he could clean it off. I was crying and shaking and not sure what to do, so I left the Panera. Later I had composed myself and decided I wanted to report it. I called the police, who came to the Panera and told me they couldn’t file an official report if the man was gone. They also told me I should have called them right away so they had a chance of finding the guy, and that I should have captured what he was doing in a photo or video so they could have evidence against him. I tried to contact Panera about training their employees to respond to such incidents and didn’t get a response – but they did quickly delete my yelp review when I described what happened on the site. I haven’t been back to the Panera.

UPDATE from @panera:

“We were disturbed by reported sexual misconduct by a guest at this location in March 2013. At that time, cafe management

immediately acted by speaking w/ the witness & offered to contact the authorities. The Panera team did speak w/ police that day.

We have zero tolerance for this type of activity. The safety & comfort of our associates and guests is always our first priority.”

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