Dad Slapped at Starbucks: Brooklyn Heights Justice or Just Plain Crazy?

This dispatch just in from a BHB tipster claiming that a Brooklyn Heights Dad got a schmack on the head from another patron at the Montague Street Starbucks. Allegedly, the smacker  felt that the smackee was not parenting properly by ignoring his fidgety baby while waiting on a latte.  Do we call it instant justice or is it past the legal limit?  Full eyewitness account after the jump:

I was in the Montague St Starbucks at 10:20 am today, maybe 10:25. A man outside had a baby in an upright-type stroller and was speaking with a woman who seemed very concerned. It seems that his child was fussing in the stroller while the man ( who I will call “Dad”) was waiting for his drink. When the baby kept crying another man complained to Dad: when Dad did not leave and stayed to wait for his drink, the non-dad man slapped Dad on the back of the head.

Now, I did not see this, but was there immediately afterward. Not only the woman outside with Dad, but the employees and other customers (including child-free individuals) were 99% on Dad’s side. (Only one man seemed to disagree, but he quickly demurred when reminded that one adult should not hit another over this, no matter how aggravating it should be.)

The police were called and the manager and an employee went out and spoke w/them and Dad. The Slapper was out of there by then, but I hope the store
security camera was on. I have seen frequent out-of-control behavior there, but this child was not crying, just looking cranky, when I saw him and he was in the stroller. Actually, I think the baby /toddler was in the stroller the entire time. Thankfully, Dad was very rational and saw no need to start the Thrilla on Montanilla. (It’s Monday, and I’ve had a lot of I coffee, so please pardon my literary excesses.) Slapper had left by the time I got there.

This did not seem to be egregious parental behavior. I have an elementary-school-aged child, and have been in situations like this. I always left the store if my kid got too cranky or loud; doing it once or twice seemed to alert the child to the consequences of misbehaving in an adult public place. One adult hitting another over this kind of thing like this is certainly egregious behavior to me.

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  • David

    These metrosexual latte “Dads” have been on the radar of black coffee Anheuser-Busch “Slappers” since the smoking ban! One didn’t need a meteorologist to see this storm brewing. Although I respect Starbucks as a monopoly, I still standby my belief that these sissy drinks should have always come with a side of head slap. That said, I still don’t fully condone this type of behavior on Montague St nor Grace Court.

  • ABC

    >> I still standby my belief that these sissy drinks should have always come with a side of head slap. <<


  • AEB

    One forgets that coffee-based drinks, among so much else, must pass the butch test.

    (My! How humorless of me!)

  • GHB

    David, that should be Quote of the Day. Does BHB even have QOD?

  • Heights

    While I may have wanted to slap an inconsiderate parent or two there is no excuse to put a hand on another person unless your life is on the line.

    Grace Court?

  • Claude Scales

    GHB: thanks for dropping that in our suggestion box.

  • bkln

    no mentioned the race of either individual. that could add an entire additional layer of intrigue!

  • David

    The sanctity of the Heights is Grace Court. That means Starbucks, Dads & Slappers must show it the utmost respect.

  • Sticky

    There will never be a slapping fest in Cranberry’s. I do not like Starbucks. Only good for when you are in midtown and need to hit the head, then you can get some burnt coffee at the same time.

  • michael

    This post was worth it just for that first comment by David.

  • Claude Scales

    Sticky: Seems like this chap at Starbucks on Montague this morning had a different notion of “hit the head.”

  • travy

    this is why i go to ct muffin where the slaps come from the staff

  • rooco

    Ct Muffin is Theresa’s to Starbuck’s Heights Cafe.

  • Monty

    The dad probably parked in a bike lane or something.

  • robby

    I remember a slapping incident like this at Great Wall a little while back. Somebody was whistling along during the Itzhak Perlman concert and the guy behind him just walloped him.

  • nystrele

    My partner “A” was AT starbucks when the incident occurred this morning. he says that while the baby was irritating, people in general become impatient at starbucks, because the line is long and the wait is often endless. oddly, he says that the dad wasn’t even in line… so why the “schmack”? i’m all for appropriate parenting (a little jack daniels on the gums of a screeching child… what harm could it do, now, really?), but it seems that this was one occasion where said “schmacker” was out of line. maybe they should all just move to park slope.

  • nystrele

    p.s. because of the ruckus, my partner “A” left starbucks without his morning mud-coffee. guess who had to deal with the brunt of his non-caffeinated irritation? that’d be me.

  • GHB

    Travy, the staff at Connecticut Muffin doesn’t slap, they just snarl, snap and do eye rolls

  • GHB

    Robby, why was Itzhak Perlman playing at Great Wall?

  • Homer Fink

    GHB …. allow me… because it has the best Chinese food in Brooklyn Heights.

  • justaneighbor

    It was really just a love tap..come on now.

  • AEB

    If only Great Wall offered miniature golf….

  • nabeguy

    They do AEB…but you have to order the dumplings to start playing.

  • Jorale-man

    I’ve seen some fairly anti-social characters hanging out at the Montague St. Starbucks on occasion. I was there on Saturday night and an unsavory old man was belching loudly in the front of the place while drinking a liter bottle of Coke and spreading newspapers all over. Where do these people come from??

  • nabeguy

    As for those metrosexual dads, they just not getting enough Busch…Anhauser or otherwise.

  • robby

    Perlman gave a standing-room-only recital back in, I believe, 1993. It was something like the 30th anniversary of his first performance at Carnegie Hall. Great Wall had catered a party for the anniversary, and this was Perlman’s way of paying the tab — like Picasso.

  • whodat

    Children under 18 should be outlawed at all restaurants including Starbucks. they should be left in their pods until fully grown, tax paying adults

  • AEB

    I believe Great Wall was also instrumental in bringing about the opening up of China following Mao’s demise–which of course involved reformulating the Principal Contradiction in Chinese society during 1978’s third plenary session of the eleventh central committee of the CCP….

    Thus the miniature golf.

  • nabeguy

    And the denunciation and forced exile of thousands of ping-pong players.

  • crankyberry

    The Perlman story is somewhere between apocryphal and the truth. From what I remember from the local papers at the time — and it’s a very vague memory — it was more complicated than that. Something having to do with one of the chefs having a daughter who was a violinist and student of Perlman’s.