The post by a Pennsylvania police officer who paid the restaurant bill of a couple who refused to sit next to him and his fellow officers is making rounds on social media.
The incident involved Officer Chuck Thomas of the Homestead Police Department who visited the Eat n’ Park restaurant with other officers last Friday – a day after a shooter killed five police officers and injured as many as 11 people.
“A male and female were going to be seated across from us, and he said, ‘I don’t want to sit there,'” Thomas said, “which drew my attention, and we made eye contact, and his body language just told me that he wanted nothing to do with police.”
While Thomas told the couple, who by that time were moving to the other side of the restaurant, that it was all right to sit next to him and that “we won’t hurt you,” the man said he didn’t want to sit there.
“[The man] looked at me hard again and said he’s not sitting here and walked away,” Thomas said, as reported by People.
Thomas shared a post about the encounter on his Facebook page. “We get stuff like this all the time, and you brush it off,” he said. However, in the wake of the tragedy in Dallas, he said he felt like reaching out.
Thomas picked up the couple’s tab and wrote a message on their receipt, saying he had paid for their dinner. “Sir, your check was paid for by the police officers that you didn’t want to sit next to. Thank you for your support. I left a $10.00 tip too,” the message said, as reported by WTAE.
In the aftermath of police shootings and the sniper attack in Dallas, Texas, where five police officers were killed, an increase in tensions has been seen between the police and the public.
Thomas said the couple gave them a smile and said thank you as they left. “Essentially, the whole goal of it was to let him know that we’re not here to hurt you, we’re not here for that,” Thomas said. “We’re here for you. We work for the public. And we just want to better the relationship between the community and the police.”
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