A Whataburger manager who refused to serve two police officers at a Lewisville, Texas location of the fast food chain has been fired.
The incident occurred Wednesday, when two uniformed cops stopped at the Whataburger for a bite to eat around 8 p.m. local time. Officers Cameron Beckham and Michael Magovern said when they reached the counter, the employee, a manager at the store, told them he wouldn't serve police.
Magovern described what happened to NBCDFW, saying, “I looked at him and said ‘Are you joking?’ and he said nothing." Beckham added, “For us to just walk in and get a bite to eat and so forth, you’re not expecting a confrontation."
Witnesses to the event said the manager's comments seemed like a joke gone awry, and that he began to apologize soon after he saw Beckham and Magovern upset. The officers left, then came back to get his name, and reported the event to Whataburger. Then they went to Dairy Queen.
Whataburger was not pleased, and released the following statement:
We were appalled to hear of an employee refusing service to two officers, as we have proudly served first responders across our system for decades. As soon as we heard of this isolated incident, we began our own internal investigation overnight. The employee that refused service is no longer employed with Whataburger. We've also invited the officers back today so we can apologize in person and make this right.
Beckham and Magovern, for their part, have no hard feelings toward Whataburger. "We want to let everybody now, this ain’t Whataburger," Magovern told NBCDFW.
The fired employee’s brother calls him a jokester, a good guy and a father in his 50s who loved working at the restaurant. In fact, his family says he had worked there for years and was proud he worked his way up to a manager position. The manager tells family that he was just joking around, trying to make the officers laugh.
Danielle Wiener-Bronner is a news reporter.