Arby's Fires Manager, Suspends Employee After Refusal to Serve Police Officer

Arby's Fires Manager, Suspends Employee After Refusal to Serve Police Officer
Photo by Mike Mozart's Flickr | CC2.0

While Arby's is offering free food for all police officers throughout Broward and Miami-Dade counties today in response to a Pembroke Pines officer being denied service because she was a cop, there has been more serious fallout over the incident. Arby's has confirmed that the manager from the store located at 11755 Pines Blvd. has been fired and the 19-year-old employee who refused to serve the officer has been suspended.

Though Arby's acknowledged that the incident was an isolated one, on Thursday, it released this statement saying the company would be taking disciplinary action "up to and including termination of the employees involved."

On Thursday night, it was confirmed that the manager of the franchise, Angel Mirabal, age 22, has been fired and that the employee, Kenneth Davenport has been suspended.

The incident in question went down Tuesday evening, when Pembroke Pines Police Sgt. Jennifer Martin went to get some food at the Arby's on Pines Boulevard but was told by Mirabal that Davenport was refusing to process her order even after she handed over her credit card.

"He doesn't want to serve you because you are a police officer," Mirabal told Martin, according to the police offense report obtained by New Times. 

At the time the news initially broke, it was presumed that Martin wasn't served by the restaurant at all. But according to the report filed by Martin, her order was processed and she was served her food — just not by Davenport.

Mirabal processed Martin's credit card and took care of the officer's order.

"Mirabal assured me everything was OK and handed me my food," Martin wrote in her report. 

Martin did go on to say that Mirabal laughed and told the police sergeant that he was allowed to refuse her service. Martin, feeling uncomfortable about "the condition of my food," walked back into the store and asked for a refund. Mirabal gave Martin her refund and provided the officer with his contact information and the store number. When asked for his contact information, Davenport ignored Martin, the report says. 

The following day, Pembroke Pines Police Department Chief Dan Giustino sent out a news release on the incident, calling it "unacceptable" and demanding that Arby's apologize to him and Martin.

Soon after the news broke, Arby's CEO Paul Brown and Senior Vice President of Operations Scott Boatwright both contacted Giustino personally to apologize on behalf of the company.

The news soon spread, and the company was met with some backlash from the Miami-Dade Police Union, which called for a boycott of the restaurant. Arby's responded by announcing its free-food-for-cops day and by firing Mirabal and suspending Davenport.

After the PPPD was given its apology on Wednesday, Chief Giustino said they "considered the matter closed."

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