Police officers in Waterloo are investigating an early morning fight that broke out at an IHOP restaurant.
Police say a group of people began fighting just before 3 a.m. on Sunday. They can be seen in a cellphone video running around the restaurant, throwing chairs, and damaging items throughout the restaurant.
The restaurant is open 24 hours per day and is not staffed with any security.
General Manager of the Waterloo IHOP Michael Lloyd said he’s never seen a fight like the one on Sunday in his 14 years working at IHOP. He hopes the restaurant’s reputation isn’t tarnished because of it.
“We have to go on crowd control and rebuild our reputation because everybody looks at us as a little thug hangout now,” he said.
Lloyd said he has tried asking Waterloo police officers to stop in occasionally and “make their presence known,” but has only seen one officer stop by the restaurant in the past three months.
“Having a full-time officer is a double-edged sword,” he said. “It’s going to deter people from coming in, but it’s also going to deter the wrong people from coming in.”
Lloyd said he wants police officers to offer him advice on how they can work together to make sure patrons are safe.
“I just hope everybody sees what really goes on in the restaurant as opposed to a five-minute video posted,” he said. “I mean we’re not known for this stuff here.”
According to Lloyd, he and six other employees were working at the time the fight broke out. He doesn’t know how or why the fight started, but was glad his employees were safe.
Police have not made any arrests in the fight but they are reviewing the video and looking into whether someone can be charged with disorderly conduct.
Thanks to our sister station KWWL for this story.