A Pennsylvania police officer, Chuck Thomas of the Homestead Police Department , picked up the tab for a couple who refused to sit next to him and his 3 fellow officers at a local diner, Eat nâ€™ Park restaurant last Friday. Officer ThomasÂ made a post about the incident on his Facebook page. He said this happened a day after the Dallas Police shooting. He wrote:
â€œA male and female were going to be seated across from us, and he said, â€˜I donâ€™t want to sit there,'â€ Thomas said, â€œwhich drew my attention, and we made eye contact, and his body language just told me that he wanted nothing to do with police.â€
â€œI looked over at him and said, â€˜You donâ€™t have to worry about it. We wonâ€™t hurt you,'â€ Thomas said.
A server at the Eat nâ€™ Park, Jesse Meyers, told WTAE-TV:
â€œHe said, â€˜No, Iâ€™m good. I donâ€™t want to sit there.'â€
â€œA table goes to sit down, and the guy looks over at one of the police officers and was like, â€˜Nah, I donâ€™t want to sit here.â€™ So they got moved completely opposite, away from the police officers.â€ He said,
ThomasÂ told WTAE-TV, â€œWe get stuff like this all the time, and you brush it off,â€ but he felt like reaching out after what happened in Dallas. Thomas said that he wanted to leave the two a note but was unsure how to go about doing so and then decided to pick up their check and scribble a message on the receipt. He wrote that he paid for their dinner and thanked them for their support. He also left a $10 tip.
â€œWhat it really came down to was that, ultimately, I just wanted to let them know that weâ€™ve got to better the relationship between police and the community,â€ he said.
â€œThe day after Dallas, it was tight. You could feel the tension in the air,â€ Thomas added. â€œA lot of people did come up to us and thank us and shook hands and spoke of their sorrow. This was the only negative experience of the day.â€
â€œUltimately, weâ€™re here for you,â€ he said. â€œThis us-against-them mentality thatâ€™s out here â€” weâ€™ve got to change that. Weâ€™ve got to break that.â€
Thomas said that he paid the tab while he was on his way out and that the server later told him the couple was â€œthrown back by itâ€ and ended up â€œchuckling.â€