The Arby's fast food chain announced late Thursday that it had fired a Florida restaurant manager and suspended a clerk after a female police officer said she had been denied service because she was a cop.
Arby's spokesman Jason Rollins confirmed to the South Florida Sun-Sentinel that manager Angel Mirabal, 22, and clerk Kenneth Davenport, 19, had been disciplined.
The chain known for its roast beef sandwiches became the center of a national firestorm after an incident Tuesday night, when Pembroke Pines Police Sgt. Jennifer Martin, 34, pulled up to the drive-thru and ordered a meal. When she handed over her credit card to pay, Davenport allegedly refused to ring her order up. That prompted Mirabal to say "He doesn’t want to serve you because you are a police officer."
Sgt. Martin finally received her food, but said she was too uncomfortable to eat it, so she returned it and got a refund. The next day, the department tweeted about the incident, which Chief Dan Giustino called "unacceptable."
"I am offended and appalled that an individual within our community would treat a police officer in such a manner," he said in a statement.
Davenport has said the controversy stemmed from a misunderstanding, and Maribal's comment was an attempt at a joke. Davenport told the Sun-Sentinel he was unable to ring up Martin's order due to the number of other customers he was servicing. He said Mirabal made his remark after Davenport asked him for help with the transaction.
"We don't hate cops,” Davenport told reporters Wednesday. "We don't hate anybody. We're just trying to get people out of the drive-thru."
On Thursday, WSVN reported that Arby's rivals took advantage of the flap between the police and the restaurant. McDonald's partnered with a local radio station to deliver bags of pancakes and Egg McMuffins to the department Thursday morning. The station reported that a local Whole Foods store put out a spread of its own, while residents supplied donuts and coffee from a local Dunkin' Donuts.
"We're here today to show our love for the community and the people that take care of us as first responders in the community," one woman said.