San Antonio steakhouse apologizes for asking cop to leave for carrying a gun to family birthday event
The officer left even though Texas law allows officers or special investigators to be armed inside restaurants even if they are not on duty.
SAN ANTONIO, TEXAS: A Brazilian steakhouse operating out of San Antonio, Texas, has been left redfaced after a manager asked an armed officer to leave the restaurant.
The incident took place at Fogo de Chão in the city on July 27 with one of the witnesses detailing the incident on Facebook and revealing that the officer had been at the restaurant for a family member's birthday and was dressed in his soft uniform displaying his badge and carrying his duty weapon.
The witness said the officer was approached around 30 minutes later by the manager and asked to leave because it's their corporate policy that "no guns" are allowed inside the establishment.
The manager continued to persist despite being advised that the law only applies to concealed carry permit owners and not police officers, and eventually, the officer left even as his family stayed behind to sing happy birthday to another on the table.
"San Antonio always backs the blue and for this to happen in our city is an attack on us all," the person wrote. Speaking about the incident, Detective Mike Helle, president of the San Antonio Police Officers' Association, told KSAT, "I would like to think they are not anti-police or that that individual who asked him to leave is not anti-police, but I think he probably wasn’t educated on what the law allows or doesn’t allow."
Indeed, the officer was asked to leave despite Texas law allowing for peace officers or special investigators to be armed inside restaurants and such establishments even when they're not on duty.
It states that they are allowed to carry their weapons in any establishment "serving the public, regardless of whether the peace officer or special investigator is engaged in the actual discharge of the officer’s or investigator’s duties while carrying the weapon."
"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," Helle said. "We just hope that Fogo de Chão learns from this and if other businesses learn from it, as we then we all just kind of grew as a city."
Following the backlash, the restaurant quickly apologized for its error and promised to ensure that such a situation would not unfold again.
"We made a mistake by asking him to leave and sincerely apologize to the officer and the San Antonio Police Department for this unfortunate lapse in judgment," read a statement.
"We are working hard to address and correct the matter, and that includes us apologizing directly to the officer and training our team members on the laws in relation to firearms on business premises. We support, respect and appreciate everything our law enforcement does to keep us safe, every day."