The owner of a Portland diner is defending comments she made on her Facebook page about yelling at a 2-year-old child for crying, screaming and disrupting her customers’ dining experience. The encounter happened Saturday.

Darla Neugebauer, who owns Marcy’s Diner on Oak Street in downtown Portland, was unapologetic for her actions both on Facebook and in an interview with WCSH-TV.

Neugebauer wrote in a Facebook post – which has since been removed from the diner’s page – that she snarled at the girl, who had been crying steadily for more than 40 minutes while her parents talked. She said the parents ordered three full-sized pancakes for their child, which on a busy Saturday takes a while to cook. Neugebauer claims the parents ignored the child, even after the girl was served the pancakes.

When Neugebauer returned to cooking food for other customers, she claims the toddler started crying again. That is when she returned to their table.

“I (well the demon) snarled at top volume, ‘That needs to stop!’ Neugebauer wrote on her Facebook page Sunday. “They (the parents) said did you just yell at a child? Yup! Sure did! Shut her up too! Why is it OK for that kid to disrupt the experience for 75 people when mommy and daddy could have taken it outside?”

The mother of the child,Tara Carson, wrote a message on Facebook saying that “anyone with a toddler knows when you wait for more than 40 minutes for food your child runs out of patience so crying is normal.” She said she is looking to other moms to come to her defense.

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Neugebauer responded on Facebook with a post laced with expletives.

Response

The diner owner followed that post with a second response.

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Neugebauer could not be reached for comment Sunday – the diner closes every day at 2 p.m. – but a reporter from WCSH-TV did catch up with her. When the reporter asked if she stood by her actions, Neugebauer said she has no regrets because yelling at the girl made her stop crying.


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“Life is full of choices and you’ve got to live with all of them,” she told the Portland TV station. When asked if she were sorry, Neugebauer replied: “I don’t know if sorry would be the proper word. I might have used poor judgment.”

There were numerous comments on Neugebauer’s Facebook page both criticizing and praising her actions. The comments indicated that 845 people liked it, while it was shared by 910.

WCSH-TV also caught up with Carson Monday for a phone interview about the incident. Carson claimed her child was not screaming but crying. The child is not yet 2 years old, Carson said.

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