Don’t talk about the awful Besa Mexican Grill and Cantina

A women visited Besa Mexican Grill & Cantina in St. Louis and had a pretty bad experience. She found out that the owner funded the restaurant using illegally obtained money, a police officer stopped by to issue a warrant, and the food and service were both quite poor. She posted her thoughts on Yelp, a popular site for restaurant reviews.

The owner, Derek Onstott, found the review and was less than pleased. He called the women (he got her number from a mutual friend) and left a number of messages for her. Among other things, he threatened to:

  • Sue her for defamation of character.
  • “drag her name through the mud”
  • “mess up your life and job”

Well, you can see where this is going. Most rational people would have contacted the woman, apologized, and probably offered a free meal. End of story.

Not so in this case. You can read the full details over here, but the summary about should give you a pretty good picture. Derek Onstott is an absolute jerk, and now the world knows it.

The police tell everyone how to scam Del Taco

How to scam Del Taco screencapSome guys figured out a way to get free food from Del Taco. Essentially, they pretend they had a problem with a previous order, then talk to the manager who then agrees to replace the food from the non-existent “problem” order. In this case, they got about $15 worth of food (seven tacos, large fries, two sodas and two quesadillas) for free. The guys thought it would be funny to take the scam and post it to YouTube.

The police, understandably, didn’t care for it — it’s theft, pure and simple. In addition, these guys allegedly belonged to a local gang, so this video gave police a good reason to arrest them.

The problem is that the arrest has drawn a lot of attention to the video. In an article yesterday in the Press-Enterprise, they report that the video had been viewed 430 times. As of now, just one day later, the video has over 5,000 views and climbing rapidly.

I’ll admit I’m at a bit of a loss as to how the police should have handled it. The guys obviously deserve to be busted for this. However, this has drawn a lot more attention to the video, which has certainly led to copycats at other fast food restaurants around the country.

Update: 3/19/08, 11:12am — The video now has over 16,000 views.
Update: 3/20/08, 9:55am — The video now has over 33,000 views.
Update: 3/21/08 — The video was somewhere over 60,000 views, but has now been removed from YouTube.