The manager of a Dallas, Texas area Waffle House screamed across the restaurant ordering a man out because he was wearing a gun. It didn’t matter to the manager that the armed man was a Texas Department of Public Safety officer – in uniform.
Trooper Jeff Evans was in a field uniform, not the full uniform and Smokey the Bear hat when the manager saw his gun and ignored the badge next to it on his belt. Evans had stopped at the Waffle House for breakfast and was wearing his DPS pilot’s polo shirt and tan slacks, with his sidearm and badge on his belt – as required by the department.
Evans took to Facebook in disbelief,
So I just got asked to leave the Waffle House in Grapevine! Apparently my Department Approved DPS Aircraft Uniform is not welcome there. I was asked to leave by the management and was also instructed not to return. They said it was because I was wearing a gun. I was in uniform, TXDPS Polo Shirt and Tan pants, with my badge visibly displayed on my belt. I explained to the manager that I am a state trooper and he said I still wasn’t allowed to have a gun in the restaurant.
That post sparked a firestorm of comments on Facebook, most calling the incident stupid or ridiculous.
Waffle House responded by claiming the manager did not see the officer badge (despite being prominently displayed next to the gun) via a press release that also said,
“It is Waffle House policy to allow police officers to bring weapons into our restaurants. In this incident, the manager did not initially see the officer’s badge and should have handled the issue with more discretion. We apologize to the officer for any embarrassment we may have caused him. Our corporate Director of Security has contacted the officer, explained our policy and apologized to him. We have also coached our team on how to better handle these situations.”
On his Facebook page, the DPS officer said he didn’t care about the manager missing the badge,
I could care less if the guy knew who I was or weather he recognized my uniform or not. It was the fact that he felt yelling at me from across the restaurant was an appropriate way of addressing his concerns.
Workers at the Grapevine Waffle House say it’s just a misunderstanding and that they even offer police discounts at the restaurant.