A Northern Virginia police officer was denied service at a Noodles & Co. in the latest episode of anti-cop animosity at restaurants across the country.
A woman working as a cook Monday night at an Alexandria location told the cashier loud enough for the officer to hear, “You better pull me off the line, because I'm not serving that,” officials with the Alexandria Police Department told WTTG-TV.
The cook motioned at the officer, and she and the cashier started to laugh. The officer, a woman wearing her uniform while standing in line behind a family, simply told them “I guess you don’t want my money,” and left.
She reported the encounter to her supervisor. Noodles & Co. executives promised a full investigation, and APD Chief Earl Cook paid a visit Tuesday to the Duke St. location of the fast casual noodle chain.
“These are very difficult times right now in our relations with everyone,” Cook told the TV station. “And to have one of my officers treated in that manner unnecessarily, your first response is anger.”
Representatives for the company said in a statement that they are “working with the appropriate authorities and local police association representatives to get to the bottom of, and resolve this matter as quickly as possible.” Noodles & Co. executives are also reaching out to the officer who tried to eat at the restaurant Monday night, they said.
“Noodles & Co. expects the highest ethical and personal behavior from its team members,” company executives said. “We value each of our guests and are committed to treating everyone with dignity and respect. We do not tolerate any form of discrimination.”
The encounter followed a series of incidents shortly after the Dallas police ambush involving police officers who felt restaurant customers and staff treated them less than respectfully.
A Columbus, Ohio officer was hospitalized last week after biting into a sandwich laced with glass at a cafe, though investigators don’t believe the glass was placed there on purpose. Earlier this month, staff at a North Carolina Zaxby’s fried chicken heckled two Cleveland County sheriff’s deputies and covered their food with extra spicy hot sauce.
A man at a diner outside Pittsburgh refused to sit next to a group of four police officers eating at the restaurant. One of the officers later paid for the man’s dinner because the officer said he wanted to show the man that "we're not here to hurt you."
Back in Virginia, Noodles & Co. managers have agreed to post “Blue Lives Matter” stickers on the front of the business to show support for local officers. APD officials plan to hold a meeting with employees at the eatery, and they posted on Twitter after a user mentioned a possible boycott.
“Please, APD does not support any crime related to this unfortunate incident, or even a boycott,” APD officials said. “Take the high road!”
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