Imagine you're sitting at a picturesque bar on the New Jersey shore, enjoying a drink and an appetizer, when an attractive young couple sits down next to you. You soon learn that the couple is on their very first date. Everything appears to be normal until the woman excuses herself to use the restroom.
Suddenly the situation turns ugly and dangerous. The man pulls out a capsule filled with a white powder and begins pouring the substance into his unsuspecting date's drink. Customers sitting at the bar can't believe their eyes; could the seemingly charming guy be drugging his date?
What would you do? Is it your responsibility to step in or is it better to keep your distance? We went to Mcloone's Pier House to find out.
We rigged the ocean-side restaurant with hidden cameras and hired actors, Jeremy and Brigitte, to portray a couple on their first date.
"What Would You Do" anchor John Quinones watched alongside the producers and production team as the experiment unfolded on monitors in an upstairs control room. We had no idea how people would react to this shocking scenario.
'Don't Drink That!'
The first couple immediately noticed Jeremy pour some white powder into his date's drink. Yet when Brigitte returned they said nothing, as the actors clinked glasses and took a sip. The couple seemed concerned but several minutes lapsed and they didn't say a word. We asked Jeremy to excuse himself to see if this would make the approach easier, but they still said nothing. Brigitte then began to act sick from the drug, fanning her face and repeatedly saying, "It's hot in here."
Four minutes went by and finally Angie, the woman who had watched the entire scene unfold, leaned over to Brigitte and asked, "Do you have a headache? Maybe it's the drink, don't drink that! Ask for another one and drink your water!"
Angie's husband Walter offered to buy Brigitte a new drink as Angie offered some motherly advice: "I always tell my kids, if you leave your drink, just get another one when you get back."
Hero of the Day
Next, our actors sat next to Doug and Patricia, a local couple who offered Jeremy some sweet advice for his first date: "Give her a nice impression. Don't go wild, be yourself, be calm, and you know, do your thing."
This budding friendship took a nasty turn, however, when Doug noticed Jeremy drugging Brigitte's drink. Immediately he sprang into action, "Can I say something to you?" he shouted. "You dropped something in that drink."
Jeremy denied it but Doug persisted, even to his wife's dismay. Doug was so sure of what he saw he kept telling his wife to "shut up."
But did he tell Brigitte what he saw when she returned?
We were surprised to find that Doug, along with most other patrons, remained quiet until Brigitte started to act sick from the fake drug. As soon as he saw her act faint, Doug reacted, telling Brigitte authoritatively, "Throw that wine away.… Are you OK?"
We let Doug in on our experiment, and he had some advice of his own.
"The right thing for this whole country is if something is wrong, speak up. React and protect your neighbors and let your neighbors protect you. C'mon America …We are the best, let's live it that way," he said.
A Different Look for Our Actress
As a twist in our experiment, we decided to dress Brigitte more provocatively; a variable that Keating, the psychology professor, thought might provoke a different reaction. "She looks like she's been there, done that, and I would imagine not as much sympathy for her."
Was she right?
Dressed in a tight, revealing blue dress, Brigitte took a seat with her date Jeremy. Two men sitting at the bar immediately noticed the sexy actress, and as soon as she stepped away told Jeremy, "Good for you, I wish I could do that s--t. Unfortunately I got married a long time ago."
Jeremy laughed with his new cohorts and then proceeded to spike Brigitte's drink not once, but five times, to make sure they saw what he was doing.
When Brigitte returned from the restroom, Jeremy excused himself saying, "These are nice guys, they'll take care of ya." But to our astonishment, they refused to get involved or say anything even after Brigitte began to fake a headache.
We decided to up the ante by telling Jeremy to attempt to bring Brigitte home.
"I have a pool in my house, if you want to go back there," he said.
The two men responded by leaving the bar without a word. When we asked why they didn't say anything, they refused to speak with us but we did learn that only one of them saw the powder go into Brigitte's drink.
Brigitte was disturbed that they didn't get involved, saying, "I feel dirty, not like I felt before when I was the cute little girl." Earlier, nobody had let Brigitte walk out of the bar with Jeremy. Speaking up would have saved the young woman in this precarious, possibly even deadly, situation.
Next, two older men took a seat next to our actors.
After witnessing Jeremy poison Brigitte's drink, they surprised us by immediately telling the bartender, who was also an actor working for "WWYD."
Later, after we let them in on our secret, on of the men, Arthur, said, "I wanted to prevent violence and I wanted him [my friend Tim] to calm down. And you gotta be careful of how you get involved."
But after nearly two full days of repeating the scenario, no one told Brigitte exactly what they saw or why they were concerned about her.
A Witness Who Doesn't Mince Words
Then, a remarkable woman showed up. As soon as Jeremy drugged Brigitte's drink, Linda was on the case.
"Did you just put something in her drink?" she asked.
Jeremy once again denied he did anything. When Brigitte returned from the restroom, Jeremy excused himself. Linda wasted no time.
"Excuse me, Miss? I'm probably out of line, he thinks I'm crazy, I thought I saw him put something in your drink and stir it."
When the scene broke, Brigitte was moved to tears by her new friend. She explained to us how protected she felt with Linda who not only spoke up but who also followed Brigitte into the restroom to make sure she was all right.