When a uniformed officer took his spouse to Outback Steakhouse for a pleasant night meal, the couple was shocked and dismayed when the supervisor kicked them out. Nevertheless, when it was revealed why they had been pressured to depart, the restaurant was made to remorse the choice.
Andrew Ward, a Tennessee Wildlife Sources Company (TWRA) officer, picked up his spouse Amanda on a Friday night time and determined to take her out to dinner at Outback Steakhouse whereas in uniform. Little did the couple know that their night can be ruined by their alternative of restaurant.
Many regulation enforcement officers patronize consuming institutions whereas on obligation and in uniform. Despite the fact that they’re taking their assigned break to eat, they’re nonetheless required to have their firearms on them always in case of an emergency. That is the state of affairs Officer Ward discovered himself in when he took his spouse out to dinner.
In keeping with Native 3 Information, “A Tennessee Wildlife Sources Company officer was requested to depart the Outback Steakhouse in Cleveland Friday night time as a result of he had his service weapon on him. In a public put up on Fb, Andrew Ward shared concerning the expertise. He mentioned he was requested by a supervisor to take away his weapon and put it in his car. He defined that he needed to have it on his individual as a result of he was in uniform.”
The supervisor walked away, made a cellphone name, then returned and requested each Ward and his spouse to depart. The supervisor mentioned that Outback Steakhouses are “gun-free zones.” Officer Ward went on to additional clarify the state of affairs. “I don’t blame the supervisor… however that is ridiculous and we’ll by no means return there ever once more,” Ward mentioned on Fb. “A uniformed Legislation Enforcement Officer who’s sworn to guard and serve the general public, is refused service as a result of they’ve a firearm! I’m disgusted and don’t have any different phrases!!!”
In a follow-up Fb put up, Ward shared why the supervisor confronted him. He says a patron at one other desk reported being scared for her life. “She mentioned police are taking pictures individuals, and he or she may have gotten shot within the parking zone, and the supervisor needed to [walk] her and her husband to their car,” Ward wrote. “We had been advised it was a coverage they don’t permit weapons – if we might have recognized there was a grievance we might not have went anyplace! Significantly, she was scared for her life? We had been joking and laughing with our server as we ordered, then prayed. What was scary about that?”
Ward mentioned Outback contacted him and apologized. Additionally they gave him a $100 present card, however this was too little too late for a lot of locally. In keeping with a neighborhood information community, Officer Ward’s Fb posts went viral and had been shared greater than 150,000 instances.
Because the story gained traction within the native media, Outback issued a press release. “We’ve all the time allowed uniformed regulation enforcement officers to hold their sidearms whereas eating with us,” Outback’s spokesperson mentioned. “A supervisor made a mistake. We have now contacted the visitor personally and apologized.”
Bradley County Sheriff Eric Watson additionally launched a press release. “I used to be very saddened to listen to the stories of a law-enforcement officer who was requested to depart a restaurant on this group,” he wrote. “Whereas I really respect the restaurant for reaching out to the officer, our group should additionally present assist to the women and men who place the badge on their chests each single day to be able to shield the institution through which the officer was requested to depart.”
In keeping with Information 12, “[Ward] may be very grateful for the assist from the group as a result of he believes it actually helped treatment a state of affairs. He believes the issue has been solved and desires to maneuver on.”
After the outpouring of assist Officer Ward and his household obtained by way of Fb and in his group, the lawman issued one last assertion. “If we transfer ahead and be taught from our previous errors they’re not errors however Classes!” Ward wrote. “I’m not nor will I ever be an ideal man…. there was just one good man ever to stroll this earth and He died some 2000 years in the past to forgive my sins.” And, that’s why tales like this one have to be shared — to not lambaste the restaurant, however slightly to tell others as a result of this “mistake” occurs all too usually.