The head of the Arby's restaurant chain has apologized to a Florida police department after an employee reportedly refused to serve a uniformed officer. In a Facebook post Tuesday, a Pembroke Pines Police Department officer said a fellow uniformed officer was denied service at a local Arby's because of his badge. "Real nice, Arby's" the post says, before encouraging others to boycott the restaurant.
In a statement, Pembroke Pines Police Chief Dan Giustino said he was "offended" and "appalled" by the refusal of service. "We are very proud of the partnerships we have built within our city," Giustino said. "For an incident like this to have happened is very disappointing for everyone."
John Rivera, president of the Miami-Dade Police Union, also called for a boycott of Arby's. "It is beyond comprehension and deeply troubling that a business would deny service to a law enforcement officer just for being a law enforcement officer," Rivera said in a statement to a local NBC station. "This is yet another example of the hostile treatment of our brave men and women simply because they wear a badge. It is unacceptable and warrants much more than an apology."
Arby's CEO Paul Brown and Senior Vice President of Operations Scott Boatwright contacted the department Wednesday to apologize on behalf of the company, according to a police report. They said the employee's behavior was "unacceptable" and did not represent Arby's values.
The officer was allegedly denied service while trying to order food at the restaurant’s drive-through. The officer was in uniform and in a police vehicle, according to the police report filed on the incident.
The drive-through employee allegedly gave the officer attitude. Then, when the officer drove to the pickup window, the store manager, Angel Mirabel, told the officer that the clerk "doesn't want to serve you because you are a police officer." Mirabel allegedly told the officer that the clerk "has the right to refuse you," USA Today reported.