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'They kind of made a boo-boo on this one'
The steakhouse chain Fogo de Chão issued a public apology after an employee at its San Antonio location booted a police officer from the establishment for wearing his gun into the restaurant.
What are the details?
The incident happened Saturday night when an off-duty San Antonio Police Department sergeant was dining in the restaurant to celebrate the birthday of a family member, KENS-TV reported. The officer was in a "soft uniform" with his badge on display while carrying his service weapon — nonetheless, an employee asked the sergeant to leave citing the restaurant's no-guns policy.
The officer agreed to leave even though Texas law protects officers' right to carry a weapon and prohibits establishments from restricting that right.
Fellow diners took to social media to report what happened, and eventually word of the confrontation made its way to the corporate offices.
In the meantime, the San Antonio Police Officers' Association got wind of the incident, and the union's president, Detective Mike Helle, told KSAT-TV that the Fogo de Chão employee "would have been right if it was just a private citizen carrying like that, but the law is very specific when it comes down to a police or peace officer."
He suggested the restaurant have a training session to make sure its employees understand the law, before adding, "They kind of made a boo-boo on this one, and the officer could have held his ground but he didn't because he didn't want to cause a scene. We just hope that Fogo de Chão learns from this and if other businesses learn from it ... then we all just kind of grew as a city."
By Monday, Fogo de Chão issued an apology on Facebook, acknowledging their manager's misstep, promising to apologize to the officer directly and to train staff "on the laws in relation to firearms on business premises."
In closing, the statement read, "We support, respect and appreciate everything our law enforcement does to keep us safe, every day."
Several Facebook users praised the chain for taking responsibility for the incident, and the San Antonio Police Department issued a statement saying there were no hard feelings, according to KENS:
"This incident was a misunderstanding of Texas law as it applies to peace officers," the statement said. "In this case, the employee was apologetic and professional during the encounter with the off-duty officer. The manager never told the off-duty officer that police were not welcome at the restaurant. The General Manager immediately reached out to SAPD to issue an apology and to reinforce their support and respect for law enforcement."
An armed off-duty officer kicked out of restaurantwww.youtube.com
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