LARGO, Md. - A Prince George's County, MD restaurant remained open while a dead body was left inside the women's bathroom for hours.
Prince George's County police said they received a call around 6:30 p.m. Wednesday for a woman unconscious inside the Largo Jasper's. Medics who responded to the scene on the 9000 block of Lottsford Road said the deceased patron most likely died of a heart attack.
According to the police report, the women's bathroom was closed off to customers, however, the men's bathroom remained open for everyone to use.
Jasper's was full, the report said, and tables were still being seated while the woman laid lifeless in the restroom.
Miguel Perea is one of the managers at Jaspers. He told FOX 5 that the restaurant was protecting the family's privacy.
"It's not something that we are accustomed to," Perea said. "At the moment, we thought we were doing the right thing, and we realized maybe we were wrong."
The owner, Fred Rosenthal, said the coroner did not arrive until two hours later, and the woman's body was eventually removed from a side door of the restaurant.
"If they feel that we disrespected them in any way, that is not what we were trying to do," Perea said.
The management at Jasper's told FOX 5 they feel horrible about what transpired on Wednesday. They are in the process of trying to find the woman's family members to apologize and see how they can best support them at this time.
The casual chain dining spot was slated to open for regular business hours (11 a.m. - 12 a.m.) Thursday.
Jasper's released a statement Thursday apologizing to customers.
"Last night, one of our customers tragically passed away within our establishment. On behalf of our ownership, management, and staff we send the sincerest and most heartfelt support and condolences to the deceased’s family," the statement reads. "We will be reaching out to the family to see if there is any way we can support them in this time of grief.
"We immediately contacted county authorities and followed their protocol and procedure. Under the authorities’ guidance, we closed the area to patrons until all emergency services could arrive and followed the direction of the authorities."