A waitress at an IHOP restaurant in Massapequa Park has been charged with menacing a customer with a knife during a dispute, Nassau County police said.

The owner of the restaurant, Camile Gnolfo, said in a statement that the waitress and other workers were reacting to “what they viewed as an immediate threat to their personal safety.”

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Rhonda Kelly, 50, of West Babylon, was given a desk appearance ticket and ordered to appear in court at a later date to face the misdemeanor charge, police said.

The encounter was reported at 9:27 a.m. Friday, a police spokesman said. He did not have any details on the nature of the dispute.

NBC 4 New York, quoting the unidentified mother, said the waitress had argued with a couple who were with their two special needs children, both of them under 4 years old.

“The well-being of our guests and team members is paramount,” Gnolfo said. “This was a situation that would be difficult for anyone to imagine and we wish the outcome had been different.”

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Kelly could not be reached for comment.