GRAPEVINE (CBS 11 NEWS) - A Texas DPS trooper is not commenting further after he posted on Facebook that he was asked to leave a Waffle House in Grapevine, because he was wearing a gun. But the incident may have been a misunderstanding and management at the Waffle House is now apologizing for what happened.
Trooper Jeff Evans was in a field uniform, not his full uniform, when the manager apparently missed seeing his DPS badge, but clearly saw his gun. Tuesday morning he had set out to get breakfast in Grapevine. He was dressed in his DPS pilot's polo shirt and tan slacks, with his sidearm and badge on his belt.
The firestorm of comments came after Evans' Facebook post that said:
"So I just got asked to leave the Waffle House in Grapevine! Apparently my Department Approved DPS Aircraft Uniform is not welcome there. I was asked to leave by the management and was also instructed not to return. They said it was because I was wearing a gun. I was in uniform, TXDPS Polo Shirt and Tan pants, with my badge visibly displayed on my belt. I explained to the manager that I am a state trooper and he said I still wasn't allowed to have a gun in the restaurant."
Condemnation from social media was quick. One person commented, "That is insane." Another complained, "How stupid."
Some people in Grapevine expressed similar feelings.
"Our police are here to protect us and they should be allowed to probably carry a gun into a restaurant or anything. And as long as they have identification, that should be fine," Sally Morris told CBS 11 News.
Nancy Ihle agreed saying, "As long as they have a badge, they can show a badge? There's no reason that they can't."
Officials at the Waffle House said the manager simply missed seeing the badge at first, and should not have called out the Trooper in front of other patrons.
A press release from spokesman Pat Warner to CBS 11 News said:
"It is Waffle House policy to allow police officers to bring weapons into our restaurants. In this incident, the manager did not initially see the officer's badge and should have handled the issue with more discretion. We apologize to the officer for any embarrassment we may have caused him. Our corporate Director of Security has contacted the officer, explained our policy and apologized to him. We have also coached our team on how to better handle these situations."
Trooper Evans is not from North Texas; neither he nor the DPS choose to comment on what happened.
Workers at the Grapevine Waffle House say it's just a misunderstanding and that they even offer police discounts at the restaurant.
(©2014 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)
for more features.