DAVENPORT, Fla. (WFLA) – Backlash is spreading on social media over two deputies being turned away from a Davenport restaurant.
The incident happened Saturday evening before the Mayweather vs. McGregor fight.
According to Crystal Nobre, she was at the Davenport Ale House with her husband, an off-duty police officer, and a group of off-duty officers and their wives. They had paid to reserve the table and each also paid a cover charge.
Nobre said she invited two Polk County Sheriff’s Office Deputies to stop by on their lunch break. But, they were turned away at the door.
“I asked if it was because of the cover charge, and offered to pay it, but the lady at the door said it was not the cover charge,” Nobre told WFLA News Channel 8. “The security guard then said that the deputies would make people in there nervous. I said are you kidding me?”
Nobre said she asked to speak with the owner, who explained, “he thought they were going to be in there looking for people with warrants and it was going to make his customers nervous.”
Nobre said the owner gave several excuses but eventually offered to allow the deputies to come in and to pay for their meals, but the deputies at that point did not feel comfortable eating there.
Nobre posted about the incident on the Facebook Page “Central Florida LEO Wives” It has already been shared more than 3,000 times, with many Facebook users calling for a boycott of the restaurant.
“We will never hire and external security company without proper background checks again,” Davenport Ale House Owner Danny Chopra told WFLA.
He claims it was a big misunderstanding at the hands of a hired security company.
“Security told two of my managers that the deputies were here to serve warrants for people. which it wasn’t the case but I was told that,” Chopra said.
Chopra said the backlash has been heartbreaking and he’s sorry for the mistake.
“We apologize for the misunderstanding, to the two officers we are extremely sorry. It was a misunderstanding and any law enforcement is always welcome at our restaurant.”
Nobre is not buying it. She said the owner has given multiple excuses and she won’t be back.
“An apology is not enough. For an establishment to turn them away for dinner, no I’m not going to have that. That’s unacceptable in my mind,” she said.
The Polk County Sheriff’s Office posted this statement on the incident to Facebook:
Today, Captain Ken Raczynski of our Northeast law enforcement district met Danny, one of the owners, and Ray, the general manager of the Davenport Ale House Restaurant located at 1260 Posner Blvd, Davenport.
They had a very positive meeting and discussed the incident that happened Saturday night at the restaurant. Both Danny and Ray expressed their heartfelt apologies for what happened. They said there were a series of mistakes and misunderstandings that led to a poor decision being made, and they sincerely regret what happened. They have asked to meet with the deputies involved so they can apologize to them in person—we are passing on that invitation.
We have not had any issues regarding deputies and service at the Davenport Ale House before Saturday night. In fact, our PCSO members have frequently dined there. We thank Danny and Ray for reaching out to us and for their sincere and thoughtful conversation. We whole-heartedly accept their apology for what happened. We believe people can make a mistake, apologize for it, and move forward.
We are very thankful for the thousands of people who have expressed their support for the men and women of the Polk County Sheriff’s Office, and specifically for the support given to these two deputies. We are honored to serve this great community.”