PEMBROKE PINES, Fla. -- The Arby’s restaurant chain has issued an apology after an employee at a South Florida location refused to serve a police officer.
The incident allegedly happened in an area north of Miami on Tuesday night.
Customers said they couldn't believe their ears when they heard the officer was refused service. According to police, a clerk didn't want to serve an officer in uniform.
"This is America. Freedom. This is what I fought for in World War II," customer David Gamson said.
Sgt. Jennifer Martin was in a drive-thru when a manager said the clerk didn't want to serve her. When the officer finally did get her food, she wasn't comfortable eating it.
"This is inexcusable behavior for an employee and an establishment to be treating a police officer in uniform or anybody in public like that," said Jeff Marano of the Police Benevolent Association.
Pembroke Pines Police Chief Dan Giustino said the Atlanta-based company’s chief executive officer and senior vice president of operations contacted him hours after Giustino publicly announced the slight against one of his officers.
"We are very proud of partnerships we have built in our city and for an incident like this to have happened is very disappointing for everyone," Giustino said in a statement.
In a statement, Arby's said, "We take this isolated matter very seriously as we respect and support police officers in our local communities."
On Wednesday, wives of officers throughout South Florida were protesting outside the restaurant.
"How can you refuse service to someone who you call when you need them?" a protester said. "I mean, police are the first people you call when there is a problem."
Arby's said it might fire the clerk and the manager involved in the incident.