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Finding the Good: Red Robin staff save co-worker’s life

This is a recurring recording of WBNG's 5am morning newscast.
Published: Jun. 21, 2022 at 12:12 AM EDT
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VESTAL (WBNG) -- At Town Square Mall’s Red Robin, staff say everyone is treated like family.

So, when server Antoine Mcelveen failed to show up for his shift on Saturday, June 11 -- his co-workers grew concerned.

“He’s always an hour early. He’s never ever late and he’s never missed a day in the two years he’s worked here,” said General Manager Mark Cook.

Staff tried to contact Mcelveen but received no response. They then decided to take matters into their own hands.

Cook said he drove to Mcelveen’s apartment complex to check up on him, but didn’t know what unit he lived in.

“I was banging on all these different apartment doors and no one answered, and the one person that did answer wasn’t Antoine,” said Cook.

Luckily, Assistant Manager Jen Barnes remembered the restaurant had a list of employee addresses the company would use to send Christmas cards. Barnes located Mcelveen’s apartment number on that list.

“Jen had the great idea of looking that up and she found out the exact apartment he lived in,” Cook said. “I went back to that apartment and knocked a little bit louder and I heard a faint noise.”

Cook soon learned the noise he was hearing was Antoine Mcelveen crying out for help. He said he tried to open the front door, but it was locked.

Cook immediately contacted Johnson City police for help.

When JCPD arrived, officers gained access to Mcelveen’s apartment and discovered him inside his residence suffering from a stroke. He was transported to UHS Wilson Medical Center and admitted to the intensive care unit.

Thanks to his Red Robin family, Mcelveen is now on the road to recovery.

“We definitely are a family in here and we try and take care of our own as much as we can,” said Assistant Manager Jen Barnes. “With Antoine not showing up -- it hit a lot of heartstrings on the whole team. We don’t ever want anything bad to happen to anybody.”

The Vestal Red Robin crew started a fundraiser for Mcelveen to help with living and food expenses while he takes time off work to recover.

More information on the fundraiser can be found here.