CLEVELAND, Tenn. (WATE/WTVC) - A uniformed officer with the Tennessee Wildlife Resource Agency says he was asked to leave a Cleveland restaurant because he was carrying his service weapon, according to WTVC in Chattanooga.
TWRA officer Adam Ward took to Facebook to share his experience at Outback Steakhouse, where he says was eating dinner with his wife while in uniform when the manager asked him to remove his gun.
Ward goes on to say that he can't remove his gun while in uniform, and after making a call, the manager tells Ward that he must leave the restaurant. Ward says he was told by the manager that Outback Steakhouse is a gun-free zone.
WTVC reportedly received this statement from the Director of Media and Community Relations for Bloomin Brands, Outback's parent company:
"We’ve always allowed uniformed law enforcement officers to carry their side arms inside our restaurants. A manager made a mistake and we have discussed this with her. We have contacted the guest personally and apologized."
In a post to his Facebook page, Ward explains that the manager of the restaurant has since apologized and given him a $100 gift card for the incident. Wards says the manager told him that customer seated near him was concerned for her safety.
WTVC reached out to the manager of the Outback Steakhouse, who claims the incident was simply a mistake, and that Outback Steakhouse serves officers with or without weapons.
Ward took to Facebook again yesterday to thank the community of its support. He says his family has "truly accepted" the apology from Outback Steakhouse.
"There was a mistake made and that’s it... we all make mistakes and and must move forward with our lives," said Ward.
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