The family of a police officer in Virginia Beach, Virginia, says he was denied service at IHOP by a hostess who rudely told him: "We don't serve your kind."
The officer's nephew, Rocco Grieco, reportedly posted a message on Facebook claiming the officer walked into an IHOP in KempsRiver Crossing while wearing his uniform and was denied service by the hostess, reports WTKR.
"My uncle, who is VBPD, after a long, 12-hour shift, walked into IHOP located at Fordham Drive in Virginia Beach. He was in full uniform. While waiting to be seated, the manager/hostess told him, 'We don't serve your kind.' He simply walked out. This is also a 20 year retired Navy, who served his country, then joined the police department to serve his community," the post read.
Grieco's Facebook message has angered many people, who have left comments like, "If this is true, I will never visit your establishment again."
A spokesperson for IHOP says it was a misunderstanding and that the hostess, who approached the officer at about 5:30 a.m., was only joking that the restaurant was closed at that time. IHOP says they have respect for law enforcement and that their KempsRiver location even offers discounts to officers in uniform.
"It's a he-said-she-said, and it is a misunderstanding," said IHOP spokesperson Craig Hoffman. He reportedly confirmed with WAVY that the hostess in question is now on leave.
"While we don't call into question the veracity of the officer, the team member in question claims that is not what happened, and, unfortunately, she was trying to make a lame joke that the restaurant was not open ... when it obviously was," Hoffman said. "While I can understand his interpreting that as being unwelcome, that is not what was meant. It is not appropriate for her to have said that. She has apologized, the franchisee has reached out to the officer."
Photo Credit: WAVY, WikiCommons