Bristow, VA – Two Prince William County police officers were refused service at the counter of a Dunkin' Donuts on Tuesday morning.
The officers, who both supervise the school resource officers for their department, stopped at the Dunkin' Donuts located at 12713 Braemar Village Plaza near Sudley Manor Drive for coffee at about 9:30 a.m. on May 1.
“We check on our guys at schools and make rounds. We’ve been in there before. We’ve stopped in for coffee,” Prince William County Police First Sergeant Ron Knapczyk told Blue Lives Matter.
Sgt. Knapczyk said the employee behind the counter, described as a 20-ish female whose nametag read “Tayana,” acted like he and his colleague weren’t even there.
“The manager is in the back making the donuts or something, and people are lining up behind us – and then we realize what’s happening. And we kind of look at each other. And I go to ask her if she’s not serving us because we’re law enforcement, but the manager stepped in before I had the chance,” he said.
“WOW! REFUSED SERVICE FOR SIMPLY WEARING A BADGE! Today on our normal rounds, we stopped into the Dunkin' Donuts in Bristow for a morning cup of coffee. An establishment we have been to on numerous occasions,” the sergeant’s post began.
“This morning we walk in and greet the girl behind the counter with a ‘good morning.’ She looks at us and doesn’t respond. We walk up to the counter and she continues to stare at us while dusting around the register. We stand there for a while and a line starts to form behind us,” Sgt. Knapczyk continued.
“I get ready to tell her we are ready to place our order when the manager walks up and asks her why she is not serving us. She nods her head towards us. The manager, who is clearly embarrassed, moved over to the next register and began to take our order. The girl then proceeded to take the order of the patron standing in line behind us. We move over to get our coffee and the manager profusely apologizes to us!” he wrote.
“You read about it happening elsewhere, but it’s a shock when it happens to you! A great morning and cup of coffee ruined by someone who has no idea who we are, just because we wear a badge we are the bad guys! I was always taught and I teach my son to respect everyone! This needs to return to this world again, or we are in for a dismal future for our kids. Blue Lives Matter!” his post concluded.
Sgt. Knapczyk told Blue Lives Matter that it took a minute for what was happening to click with him and Prince William County Police Lieutenant Shane Ash, as they stood waiting while a line formed behind them.
“We both realized it at the same time. We’re like, ‘are we actually getting refused service?’” the sergeant laughed as he retold the story, but it was clear he was bothered by what happened.
“Nineteen years and I’ve never had that happen before,” he said. “It’s ridiculous what’s going on. I was taught to respect everyone. These people aren’t respectful to law enforcement.”
Sgt. Knapczyk said that despite the manager’s horrified reaction to his employee’s behavior, he would not be returning to that Dunkin' Donuts, and it sounded as if his colleagues might be avoiding it soon as well.
“We blasted it out so that everybody can make sure not to go there,” he said.
The sergeant told Blue Lives Matter that the manager offered him and Lt. Ash free donuts as an apology, but they declined and left Dunkin' Donuts immediately.
“I didn’t want to create a scene. I just took my coffee and left. Even the woman behind us kept peeking around us trying to figure out what was going on,” Sgt. Knapczyk said. “I was shocked and embarrassed.”
Blue Lives Matter reached out to Dunkin' Donuts corporate headquarters for comment and received the following statement:
"Dunkin’ Donuts and its franchisees are committed to serving and treating every guest with respect. We have spoken with one of the guests and are reaching out to the other, and we sincerely regret their bad experience in one of our franchised locations. We value our relationships with all of our customers and want to reiterate that everyone is welcome in our restaurants.”
Blue Lives Matter also called the Dunkin' Donuts location for a comment from the manager, but had not received a return call by publication time.