The Dobsons, an African American family, who stoppped to eat at a local Subway in Newnan, Georgia were unpleasantly surprised when police showed up and told them that someone made a complaint about them. Apparently, an employee of the fast food restaurant called 911 because she thought the family looked “suspicious” even though they didn’t do anything wrong.
Felicia and Othniel Dobson were traveling home from South Georgia to North Carolina with their children — ages 8, 12, 13, and 19 — and the children’s aunt. That was when they decided to grab some dinner at a Subway on Newnan Crossing Boulevard.
During the 911 call, the employee reportedly said, “I need somebody to come through here please, ASAP. Now. There’s about eight people in a van, and they’ve been in the store for about an hour. They keep going back and forth to the bathrooms by my back door.” Her concern about the family of 7 was also that they were putting water in soda cups.
The Dobsons felt really offended. They said they weren’t doing anything wrong and thought it was a blatant case of racism.
“I have a 24-year old sister who’s a recent graduate of North Carolina A&T (State University). My daughter’s 19. She’s entering sophomore year at Wake Forest University,” Felicia Dobson said.
When the police arrived and investigated the situation, one of the officers apologized to the family. He added that the employee got suspicious because they had been robbed before and she suspected the family would also rob her.
“I don’t think she ever felt threatened,” Dobson said. “We can’t change our skin color. I have great kids. I have a great family.”
Meanwhile, Subway franchise owner Rosh Patel sent Channel 2 Action News a statement saying, “I take this very seriously, and I am fully investigating. I have also used this opportunity to reiterate to my staff the importance of making everyone feel welcome.”
The owner apologized to the Dobsons and told them that the employee who called 911 is already on administrative leave.