LARGO, Md. (DC News Now) — After a woman died in the bathroom of a popular Prince George’s County restaurant, the restaurant remained open, spurring controversy.
A tweet sparked a lot of questions on social media Thursday morning after news about what happened at Jasper’s Restaurant in Largo spread.
The user said, “Let’s talk about how the establishment didn’t close the restaurant and let her body stay in the bathroom until closing.” In a direct message to DC News Now, the user said she was “flabbergasted.”
The owner of Jasper’s, Fred Rosenthal, said the incident happened after 6 p.m. They were informed a woman was unconscious in the women’s restroom and contacted the police immediately. After first responders attempted life-saving measures, Rosenthal was told she passed away.
The Prince George’s County Police Department said it could not share the cause of death but did confirm there was no foul play. Health officials told Rosenthal the woman died from cardiac arrest. Police have not identified her.
“We closed off the area and created a unisex bathroom for the men’s room anticipating that the coroner’s office would be there shortly rather than creating any type of panic or telling people there was a problem in the restaurant,” said Rosenthal.
PGPD said the family was notified, but the body had to be removed by a private company, which took hours.
The biggest concern for many people was why the restaurant remained open after learning the woman died in their bathroom.
“We had a lot of people in the restaurant, and we don’t want to create curiosity or a panic or anything telling the people there was a problem here, and it turns out we found out was only one corner on duty, and it took almost two hours for the corner to get there,” Rosenthal said.
Rosenthal admitted he and staff members may have been able to take a different approach.
“Hindsight being 2020, if we knew that it was gonna take over two hours we may have handled it somewhat differently but I thought at the time, we handle in a way that is respectful to our family and everybody involved,” he said.