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Diner owner criticized for yelling at a crying child — what would you do?

A diner owner has drawn fire for yelling at a crying toddler. Was she right to do it?
/ Source: TODAY

A fed-up diner owner who yelled at a 1-year-old girl to stop crying over the weekend has drawn a mixed reaction after standing by her actions.

Darla Neugebauer, the owner of Marcy's Diner in Portland, Maine, drew complaints from a family after she loudly told the couple's daughter to stop crying. The girl started crying after her parents would not give her pancakes, according to Neugebauer, who said she then politely asked the parents to leave or take their daughter outside to calm her down. The parents ignored those requests and the little girl kept crying for 40 more minutes, according to Neugebauer, who then took action.

"What happened was I slammed my hands on the counter and I said, 'This needs to stop!''' Neugebauer told NBC Portland affiliate WCSH. "Meaning her screaming. And I pointed at her, and she looked and me and she stopped. And her parents said, 'Are you screaming at a child?!' Yes I am. And she shut up."

The girl's mother, Tara Carson, posted about the incident on the Marcy's Diner Facebook page.

"I had the worst experience at this establishment,'' she wrote. "The owner is an absolute lunatic and screamed in the face of my almost 2 year old child bc (sic) she was crying. Who in their right mind would behave like this unless you are deranged. You have a problem with a child crying then you are not suitable to run a business. If it bothered you so much you should have spoken to me and not traumatized my child by screaming in her face."

Neugebauer responded to the Facebook comment with an expletive-laden reply in which she wrote, "You are lucky I didn't get really (expletive) nuts because being physical is not something I cower from...male or female."

Carson then replied to Neugebauer, writing, "You need serious help!"

Neugebauer received some backlash online of customers claiming they would no longer eat at the diner. while others showed support.

"Life's full of choices and you've got to live with all of them,'' she told WCSH. "I chose to yell at a kid, it made her shut-up, which made me happy, it made my staff happy, it made the 75 other people dining here happy, and they left. They may never come back, other people may not come in. Their loss really."

In a Twitter hashtag poll on TODAY Tuesday, 92 percent of respondents sided with Neugebauer, saying she was in the right to try to silence the child.

"I think the idea of it is why people are reacting to it, that someone has to step up to these kids and take authoritative measures,'' Carson Daly said on TODAY. "However, it's all in how you do it. That lady seemed way too intense."