An epic tale of three women who happened to witness a stranger attempt to drug another stranger begins with, “GUESS WHO STOPPED A RAPE LAST NIGHT?! THESE GALS!”
The incident allegedly took place at Santa Monica’s FIG restaurant on Thursday. When I called FIG to corroborate a viral Facebook post, the woman who answered said firmly that yes, it was all true, before putting me on hold. When she came back on she said she was not at liberty to discuss what I assume is still a pending investigation. So let’s take the story as it is told on social media by a woman named Sonia Ulrich.
Monica, Marla, and I were at Fig at the Fairmont for their delicious happy hour (“Fig at 5.” Treat yourself). I was going on about something and saw Monica staring behind and making a funny face. I stopped. “What’s going on?” After a few second she said “That guy just put something in her drink.”
The ladies discussed the best course of action and decided to warn this strange woman that not all was as it should be with her date. Sonia lingered in the bathroom waiting for her until she left her stall:
“Hey! Um, this is kind of weird, but, uh, we saw the guy you were with put something in your drink.”
“Oh My God.” She said. Shocked, kind of numb, so I babbled “Yeah, my girlfriend said she saw him put something in your drink and we had to say something. Woman to woman...you know. We had to say something. How well do you know that guy?” I was expecting to hear “We just met,” but I got:
“He’s one of my best friends.”
The girl returned to her table, which is a measure of steeliness I don’t think I’d be capable of. My impulse would be to rush back and insist he drink my glass of wine and basically reenact the final scene of Hamlet. Meanwhile, Marla was speaking with a server, who notified the manager. Monica described more about what she’d seen to her friends:
“He pulled her glass toward him, kind of awkwardly, then he took out a little black vial. He opened it up and dropped something in. Then he tried to play it cool, like checking his phone and hiding the vial in his hand and then trying to bring it back down slyly.” He apparently saw Monica looking. Marla said she was just going to lean over to Monica and say “that guy is acting really creepy” when she saw Monica already looking. Witnessing.
It only took a minute for the manager to walk to their table, see if everything was ok, allowed the girl to order a sparkling water. All super cool. He stopped by our table and said he couldn’t do much because he didn’t see it. But he did let security know.
The poor woman had to sit through 40 more minutes, sitting across from “one of her best friends” knowing that he was trying to drug her. Marla noticed him several times chinking his glass to hers to get her to drink. She played it cool. Mostly, I believed, just stunned. The staff wanted to jump in and dump the glass, dump him, do something! I was going through fantasies of walking up and demanding he drink the tainted glass of wine. Eventually, they finished up dinner. There was a delay getting their bill “The computer is down” is what the waiter kept saying to him. Then, in walks Santa Monica PD. They say “Come with us” and he doesn’t protest. Doesn’t ask why. Doesn’t seem surprised.
Because of the ladies’ quick response and the restaurant’s belief and support, they were able to immediately review the tapes and catch the man putting an unknown substance in his “friend’s” wine glass. It turned out her car was parked in his apartment building and they’d driven in his vehicle to the restaurant, adding an even more chilling detail to this premeditated attack.
Sonia Ulrich winds up her long post with gratitude to the FIG, and by saying that after the man was led away by police, other customers approached the women to tell their own stories of similar incidents where no one was there to look out:
“It happened to my sister...I’m glad I was there to take her home.”
“It happened to my roommate at a producer’s party. He’s still messed up from it.”
“It happened to me. At a backyard barbecue.”
“It happened to me. At a bar I worked at.”
“Some Heroes don’t wear capes. Thank you. It happened to me. Thank you.”
So thank you, everyone at Fig and Fairmont in Santa Monica for keeping this guy from harming someone.
And thank you in advance to everyone who sees this and shares this and reminds each other that yes, you SHOULD say something. Even if it’s awkward or weird or just uncertain if anything can be done.
Know that YOU did something. And that it helped.
I could also tell a story like this. Thanks for saying something, gals.
Image via Facebook.