It's a situation that restaurant servers dread: the dine-and-dash.
Keenan Wildy was working his shift last Thursday when two diners asked for their check. After giving it to them, Wildy said a group at another table flagged him down.
"I went to check on the table and when I came back they were gone," Wildy said.
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In the hope of catching them, Wildy said he left the Santa Monica restaurant on the Third Street Promenade and took off after the couple. He followed the pair to a neighboring parking structure but by the time he reached them, they were pulling out in a car, near an exit gate.
"And I'm thinking like, OK, I just lost $80," Wildy said. "My whole day is for free. I just worked for free today."
But then he heard a booming voice.
"You're not going anywhere."
Wildy said he followed the sound to a towering 6-foot-5-inch man who was blocking the exit and demanding the driver stay put as he pressed his foot on the car's hood. The stranger wouldn't give his name but goes by "Robin Hood 702."
"I knew I had to stop them," "Robin Hood" said. "No matter what, I was stopping those people."
"Robin Hood" said he kept the car in place until police arrived. He didn't know why Wildy was chasing after them at first but felt the impulse to help. Wildy was in shock to see a stranger come to his defense in such a big way.
"It was like an amazing thing to see that somebody actually cared," Wildy said.
"Robin Hood" said he blocked the car until police arrived and Wildy returned to work.
Dine-and-dashing could come with a misdemeanor for "defrauding an innkeeper," said Lt. Richard Lewis of the Santa Monica Police Department. But the suspects agreed to pay the bill in the parking lot, and the matter was dropped with neither an arrest nor a citation.
This isn't the first time "Robin Hood" has come to someone's rescue. The mysterious good Samaritan has been known to donate money to families in need from what he earns gambling, said Deacon Raul Molina, an administrator at St. Anne Catholic Church in Santa Monica. "Robin Hood" held a dinner with the church and fed 150 homeless people in April.
"He approached me around one month before and told me he had this idea on Easter Sunday to feed the homeless," said Molina.
"Robin Hood's" one request for his good deeds?
Pay it forward.