FRIENDSWOOD, Texas – A Texas detective was reportedly denied service at a Whataburger because he was openly carrying a weapon.
The Friendswood Police Department said the plainclothes detective went to the Whataburger Thursday with his firearm on his side and a clearly visible badge, KTRK reports.
Police said an employee denied the law enforcement officer service due to the company’s concealed carry policy, according to KPRC-TV.
Police said the detective tried to explain to a manager on duty that he was a law enforcement officer, but the manger still refused him service. The detective then left the restaurant.
Many Whataburger critics have used social media to refer to the gaffe as “Whatamistake.”
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As a result, the restaurant’s corporate office issued a statement Thursday saying:
This was an unfortunate misunderstanding of our open carry policy, and we’ve talked to the detective to make this right. He was understanding, accepted our apology and said he plans to come back to Whataburger. Our company policy allows law enforcement with proper identification to open carry at our restaurants, and we’ll be reinforcing this policy with employees through additional training. We’ve also been in contact with the Friendswood Police Officers Association. We want to make it clear that this detective and all law enforcement are welcome in our restaurants and we’re proud to serve them.
– Whataburger Corporate Communications
“I think people need to use common sense,” said Lisa Duchamp, of Friendswood. “I think if you say a detective that has his badge and his ID and he’s trying to show it to you, I think that’s a reasonable approach to deciding whether or not you’re gonna serve somebody.”
Others, including John Jackson, sided with the Texas burger chain.
“To be honest, I appreciate everything that detectives do and their work and I also think it’s tough because Whataburger is a private place, too, and so they have their rules,” Jackson said.
Whataburger Apologizes After Manager Refuses Service to Armed Detective https://t.co/SKb9O8FF7z
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Whataburger also said that the detective was “understanding, accepted our apology and said he plans to come back to Whataburger.”