Arby’s has fired the manager and indefinitely suspended a clerk two days after a Pembroke Pines police officer said she was denied service at the restaurant because she was a cop.
The dismissal of Angel Mirabal, 22, and suspension of Kenneth Davenport, 19, were confirmed Thursday evening by Arby’s spokesman Jason Rollins in an email.
The two men were working at the restaurant, 11755 Pines Blvd., when Sgt. Jennifer Martin said she was told by Mirabal that Davenport refused to ring up her order after accepting her credit card.
The Pembroke Pines police chief demanded and quickly received an apology Wednesday from the Arby's restaurant chain after one of the city's uniformed officers reported being denied service "due to being a police officer." The incident allegedly happened Tuesday evening at the Arby's at 11755 Pines Blvd. in the Pembroke Lakes Mall. (Marian Liu / Sun Sentinel)
“He doesn’t want to serve you because you are a police officer,” Martin quoted Mirabal as saying.
Davenport said the comment from Mirabal was an attempt at a joke that backfired.
After finding himself so busy with other customers than he could not complete Martin’s transaction, Davenport said he asked Mirabal for help. That’s when Mirabal made his remark, Davenport said.
Earlier Thursday Davenport’s grandfather said the teen is “overwhelmed by all the attention” the incident has generated.
Thomas McCutcheon said he would request a meeting with police in an effort to defuse the controversy that ballooned into a firestorm on social media after Police Chief Dan Giustino issued a news release and demanded an apology from Arby’s corporate executives that was quickly offered.
“I would love to speak to Ms. Martin and her supervisor,” said McCutcheon.
“His life is just starting, and a black mark against him is not going to help,” said McCutcheon, 70, of Miramar. “He is a shy kid.”
Pembroke Pines police officer denied service at Arby's
The Pembroke Pines police chief is upset after an employee at an Arby's allegedly refused to serve an officer.
The flap has generated scores of comments on the Pembroke Pines Police Facebook page, most of them expressing support for the police and anger that they might be subjected to discrimination. Arby’s also announced the fast-food chain would give a free combo meal to officers who show up in uniform at any Arby’s in Broward or Miami-Dade on Friday.
But there has also been criticism of the police for what some see as wasting time on a trivial matter. “This non-criminal behavior was deserving of a police report? Laughable,” said a Facebook post from someone who identified himself as James Giardina. “Your tax dollars at work, ladies and gentlemen.”
Giustino did not respond to an email request for comment on fallout from the incident.
Mirabal could not be reached for comment.
“We don't hate cops,” Davenport told reporters Wednesday. “We don't hate anybody. We're just trying to get people out of the drive-thru.”
Martin, 34, a Pembroke Pines officer for nearly nine years, said she decided to document the incident “for informational purposes.” No charges were filed.
Feel free to use the buttons below to share this story.