Father demands apology from councilman after Roadhouse incident

Father demands apology from councilman after Roadhouse incident

(MyFoxBoston.com) – The cake, the presents, and the fun of a birthday were all reportedly spoiled by an Everett politician who spent several minutes publicly insulting a 7-year-old girl with special needs.

For Bella, every day is a miracle.

"Celebrating her birthday on that night is a milestone itself because five different hospitals said she wouldn't make it. Every year that she's here is a blessing," Kevin Bartel, the child's father, told FOX 25's Crystal Haynes.

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Bella suffered a stroke when she was a baby, and as a result, she was left blind, unable to walk, and non-verbal; however, she is able to produce her own series of sounds.

Bartel, along with his friend Ed McAloney, took Bella to the Texas Roadhouse in Everett to celebrate her birthday.

"Bella made some noises and stuff like that, some clicking noises," Bartel.

Everything was going smoothly until a man in the booth behind them reportedly began mimicking her gestures and noises.

Bartel says Everett City Councilor Wayne Matewsky was loudly making fun of Bella, and the torment went on for three to four minutes.

Former boxers, Bartel and McAloney kept their cool, but McAloney did confront the councilman.

"I said to him, ‘She's a disabled little girl, why are you carrying on like this?' And he had no answer," McAloney said.

When confronted Wednesday, Matewsky denied the incident ever occurred.

"I am emphatic that at no time did I or anyone else in my party, address, initiate, or make a derogatory statement or gesture directed at any customer within the restaurant. Furthermore, we did not initiate any conversation with any customers within the restaurant."

Matewsky did admit that he asked to move his table because it was loud in the restaurant. He added that he is "recognized for aiding disabled and handicapped residents within the community."

However, Matewsky's story is vastly different from Bartel's and even Texas Roadhouse's story. The restaurant said the councilman's behavior was unacceptable.

Matewsky apologized to the restaurant's staff after the incident and said the matter was resolved, but not for Bartel and McAloney who want an apology.

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