Acts of Kindness

Man refuses to sit next to officers in restaurant so cops shoot a message to his table

March 13th, 2020

There is no question that tensions these days are running high between police officers and civilians. Rogue officers killing the innocent and equally rogue civilians killing officers.

In such a hostile climate, it’s not surprising that some civilians would rather keep their distance from those who are sworn to protect them.

Such a story unfolded at a Waterfront restaurant in Homestead, Pa. A server shared part of the incident with Action News 4 in Pittsburgh.

“Nah, I Don’t Want to Sit Here,”

Homestead police Officer Chuck Thomas, 29, was seated at a table with 3 fellow officers in a place where they often eat. And in a place where they are most often greeted with smiles, handshakes, and words of thanks.

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ABC 7 News Source: ABC 7 News

This day, they were in for something different.

According to server Jesse Meyers of Eat’n Park,

“A table goes to sit down, and the guy looks over at one of the police officers and was like, ‘Nah I don’t want to sit here.’ So they got moved completely opposite, away from the police officers.”

Today adds a little more detail from Thomas’ perspective.

“We were seated at the back of the restaurant and the server went to seat a couple across from us at a table, and it was a male and a female, and they made eye contact and he said, ‘I’m not sitting there, I don’t want to sit there.”

At this point, the couple find a seat clear at the other end of the restaurant.

Not wanting to leave things there, Thomas spoke up. He recalls,

“I looked over and said, ‘It’s okay, sir. You won’t have to worry about it, we won’t hurt you.”

But, Thomas says, this doesn’t get the reaction he hoped.

“He looked at me hard again and said he’s not sitting here and walked away.”

How the Officers Respond

Several things could have happened here. Things that could have escalated the hostilities instead of easing them.

However, the officers wondered what they could do to diffuse the situation. Thomas says,

“I finished my meal and Officer Strang thought well, ‘we should pay his tab.'”

And despite the fact it was another officer who voiced the idea, it was Thomas that stepped up and did so himself. He not only paid the couple’s check, but he also left them a note on it as well.

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ABC 7 News Source: ABC 7 News

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ABC 7 News Source: ABC 7 News

On the check, he wrote,

“Sir, your check was paid for by the police officers that you didn’t want to sit next to. Thank you for your support.”

He also left an extremely generous tip.

Officer Thomas had a message he wanted to get across.

“It just dawned on me, I should do this real quick just to show this guy look, I don’t know if you had bad experience with the police in the past—you may have you may have not—but I just want you to know I never had an experience with you and I’m not here to do anything to you. And neither will my partners.”

“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,” he 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.”

Thomas left the restaurant without being aware of the couple’s reaction, but one of the officers who lingered saw them reading the note, and filled Thomas in.

“The guy looked at him, laughed a little bit, and said thanks.”

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Source: Today