A uniformed Alexandria, Virginia, cop was reportedly refused service at a local Noodles and Company restaurant from one of the employees who denied the cop service as the female officer was in uniform. As the officer was standing in line waiting at the restaurant for a meal, a female cook came out to the register to tell the cashier, "You better pull me off the line, because I'm not serving that," gesturing toward the officer, according to Alexandria police spokeswoman Crystal Nosal.
As the cook and cashier started to laugh, the officer decided she didn't want to make a scene and left the restaurant after simply saying, "I guess you don't want my money." However, the cop wasn't done with the incident. She promptly reported what had happened to her superior, and Alexandria Police Chief Earl Cook was none too happy about it, according to Fox5.
Upset, Chief Cook decided to pay a visit to the restaurant and speak with management about their disrespectful employees. Soon, the Noodles & Company cook and cashier would find out how big of a mistake they had made, and it's safe to say the disrespectful duo aren't laughing anymore.
"Well, your first response as a police officer is anger," Cook said of the moment his officer told him what happened. "These are very difficult times right now with our relations with everyone, and to have one of my officers treated in that manner unnecessarily — your first response is anger, then you calm down a bit.”
He added that he felt his officer"handled the situation perfectly" by disengaging rather than escalating the confrontation and that he was surprised this happened in Alexandria since there typically have a very good relationship with local businesses and residents.
After the restaurant told Cook that it would be conducting an investigation into the incident, management later confirmed that the incident had taken place just as the officer had claimed. The restaurant later released a statement regarding the incident.
"Noodles & Company expects the highest ethical and personal behavior from its team members. We value each of our guests and are committed to treating everyone with dignity and respect," the statement began. "We do not tolerate any form of discrimination," it continued.
"We 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," the statement added. "We have made efforts to reach out to the police officer involved, but have not yet spoken with her. We will continue to look into the situation and will take the appropriate actions at the conclusion of this review.”
Following the initial statement, Noodles & Company later announced that both of the employees involved in the incident have since been fired for treating the officer with disdain, according to The Washington Post. "In a statement, the company said that 'the views and actions of these individuals' were 'inexcusable' and do not reflect those of the company or the rest of the staff at the Duke Street location," the source adds.
"We have concluded the two team members in question acted inappropriately and we immediately terminated their employment," the company said in the follow-up statement. "We have the utmost respect for law enforcement officials and value the relationship we have built with the local Alexandria Police Department over the years." But, that's not all.
Not only had the manager and the restaurant apologized to Chief Cook and the officer involved, the restaurant is also going out of their way to right this wrong and make it clear to both their employees and the community where they stand in regards to supporting local law enforcement.
According to Pete Feltham, a representative for the Alexandria Police Union, the restaurant hopes to make up for the way the officer was treated by placing signs on their doors declaring their support for the police. "We hope that the business is not judged by the actions of a couple of individuals," Feltham said.
The situation drew the attention of Alexandria Mayor Allison Silberberg, who said in a statement that she "appreciate[s] Noodles & Company's swift and thorough response to and full-throated apology for this unfortunate situation," adding that "after extensive dialogue with the company's regional and national leadership, we are satisfied that this situation was an anomaly and should not reflect on the company nor its other hard-working employees.”