Outback Steakhouse Kicks Out Uniformed Officer And Wife — Made To Regret It.

Andrew Ward, a TWRA cop, picked up his wife Amanda on a Friday night and chose to take her out to supper at Outback Steakhouse while still in uniform. The couple had no idea that their restaurant decision would wreck their evening.

While on job and in uniform, many law enforcement officials dine at restaurants. Even if they are having their designated lunch break, they must keep their weapons on them at all times in case of an emergency. Officer Ward found himself in this scenario when he brought his wife out to supper.

On Friday night, a Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency officer was ordered to leave the Outback Steakhouse in Cleveland as he was carrying his duty firearm. Andrew Ward discussed the encounter in a public Facebook post. He said that management requested him to take his firearm and place it in his car. He said that he needed it since he was in uniform.

The manager walked away, called someone, then returned and requested Ward and his wife to leave. Outback Steakhouses, according to the management, are gun-free zones. Officer Ward went on to elaborate on the scenario. He is not blaming the manager but this is ludicrous, and they will never return, Ward said on Facebook. A uniformed law enforcement officer sworn to safeguard and provide public assistance is denied service simply because they possess a handgun. He is appalled and at a loss for words.

Ward explained why the manager contacted him in a subsequent Facebook post. He claims that a customer at another table was terrified for her life. She stated cops were shooting individuals in the parking lot, and she might have been shot, and the manager had to guide her and her husband to their vehicle, Ward wrote. They were informed it was a rule not to permit weapons; if they had known there was a complaint, they would not have gone. Was she really afraid for her life? As they ordered, they were joking and laughing with the server, and then they prayed. What was so frightening about that?

Ward stated that Outback reached out to him and apologized. They also handed him a $100 gift card, yet for many in the community, this was too little, too late. Officer Ward’s Facebook posts became viral, with over 150,000 shares, according to a local news network.

Outback released a comment after the story gathered attention in the local media. Outback’s representative stated that they’ve always permitted uniformed law enforcement personnel to carry their sidearms while dining with them. A manager made a blunder. They personally called the guest and apologized.

Bradley County Sheriff Eric Watson issued a statement as well. He was really disturbed to hear tales of a law-enforcement officer being asked to leave a restaurant in the town, he wrote. While he appreciates the restaurant reaching out to the cop, the community must equally express solidarity for the men and women who wear the badge on their chests every day to safeguard the facility where the police were asked to leave.

Ward is grateful for the community’s involvement since he feels it assisted to resolve a problem. He feels the issue has been resolved and wishes to proceed.

Officer Ward gave one final comment following the outpouring of love for him and his family on Facebook and in his community. When one goes on and learns from one’s mistakes in the past, they are no longer mistakes, but lessons, Ward penned a piece. He is not, and will never be, a flawless man…. There was only one perfect man who ever walked this world, and He died almost 2000 years ago to atone for his faults.

That’s why tales like this one need to be shared – not to bash the restaurant, but to educate people about how common this “error” is.

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