Texas Restaurant Kicks Out Police Officer For Having Gun

Fogo de Chao Brazilian Steakhouse has issued an apology for breaking the law when they kicked an armed officer out.

San Antonio, TX – Fogo de Chao Brazilian Steakhouse in San Antonio has issued an apology to a uniformed San Antonio police officer who was asked to leave their restaurant on Saturday night because he was armed.

The story of what happened was posted to social media and quickly set off a firestorm of criticism about the chain restaurant.

“Earlier tonight a SAPD Sgt joined his family for a birthday dinner at Fogo de Chao in San Antonio. He was dressed in his soft uniform displaying his badge and carrying his duty weapon,” Jason Chandler posted on Facebook.

“After about 30 minutes he was approached by a manager and asked to leave,” the post continued. “The manager stated it’s [sic] their corporate policy that ‘No Guns’ are allowed inside the establishment.”

“The manager was advised that the ‘Law’ applies to concealed carry permit holders and not police officers. The manager again said to leave. The Sgt asked if he was in full uniform trying to eat would he still be asked to leave ……the manager again said yes!!” Chandler wrote.

“The Sgt accepted the managers request and left the establishment as his family stayed behind to sing happy birthday to the family member. To all my brothers and sisters in blue….San Antonio always backs the blue and for this to happen in our city is an attack on all of us. Feel free to spread the word,” the post ended.

Texas law explicitly prohibits businesses from doing exactly what the management of Fogo de Chao did to the San Antonio officer on July 27, KSAT reported.

Texas law says “an establishment serving the public may not prohibit or otherwise restrict a peace officer or special investigator from carrying on the establishment’s premises a weapon that the peace officer or special investigator is otherwise authorized to carry, regardless of whether the peace officer or special investigator is engaged in the actual discharge of the officer’s or investigator’s duties while carrying the weapon.”

The law applies to hotels, motels, places of lodging, restaurants, retail businesses, sports venues, and any other public place such as amusement parks and resorts, KSAT reported.

San Antonio Police Officers’ Association President Detective Mike Helle said the restaurant did the wrong thing.

“I am afraid that it boils down to education,” Det. Helle told KSAT. “I would like to think they are not anti-police or that that individual who asked him to leave is not anti-police, but I think he probably wasn’t educated on what the law allows or doesn’t allow.”

While the management of a business in Texas has the right to ask a concealed carry permit holder not to bring a weapon into their business, doing the same thing to a member of law enforcement is against the law.

“They would have been in the right if it was just a private citizen carrying like that, but the law is very specific when it comes down to a police or peace officer,” Det. Helle explained.

He explained that the sergeant could have argued with the restaurant’s management but he didn’t want to disrupt the birthday party, KSAT reported.

“They kind of made a boo-boo on this one, and the officer could have held his ground but he didn’t because he didn’t want to cause a scene,” Det. Helle said. “We just hope that Fogo de Chao learns from this and if other businesses learn from it, as we then we all just kind of grew as a city.”

The restaurant has acknowledged its mistake and issued an apology to the officer and his police department, according to KSAT.

“We sincerely apologize to the San Antonio Police Department and the officer in question for the incident that occurred at our restaurant last night,” the statement read. “Unfortunately, a member of our team made the wrong call. We are working hard to address and correct this unfortunate lapse in judgement.”

“We will address the policy internally and make sure our team members are clear,” the restaurant continued. “We support, respect and appreciate everything our law enforcement does to keep each and every one of us safe, day in and day out.”

Comments (85)
No. 1-47
THEDUKE
THEDUKE

“They kind of made a boo-boo on this one,"

WOW.

Dutchuncle
Dutchuncle

,,it was because he was an LEO,,and this restaurant is NOT "Cop Friendly" I would make them "famous",,but not in a GOOD WAY

NotACop
NotACop

It's pretty disgusting but every incident, like this and the one at Starbucks recently, is a) a chance to educate, b) a chance to get the issue exposed on social and other media, and c) a chance to get the support for the legal challenges to the anti-cop bias seen and spread around. Might be useful. Exposing bigotry has always worked.

ReserveDepty3431
ReserveDepty3431

If the manager was knowingly ( after being informed by the officer) and willfully breaking the law, he should have been arrested.

Kaluni
Kaluni

uhhhh... a civil lawsuit may make things clearer for the business.

Tmorh
Tmorh

Its common sense. They had a moron on staff. That simple.

rix is retired
rix is retired

As Kaluni said,,a civil suit,, an arrest of the manager, may not get the owners upset,, easily replaced... But civil penalties,, and can be deemed to be negative at business license renewal time,,,

cadams
cadams

I think the officer coming back with an arrest warrant for the manager is what should have happened.

PD732004
PD732004

A bit to late. He was in the right, and missed his family member's celebration. Now are you going to have to ask if Law Enforcement is welcome before making reservations. Suppose some "person" entered the restaurant with a concealed weapon and was having a bad day? The manager should have at least been fired. Who are these schmucks making this kind of policy. Time to hit them in the pocketbook.

JLil
JLil

Who were they going to call if he refused to leave?? 🤔🤔🤔

sgtjjj
sgtjjj

Just curious. What is a "soft uniform." In my experience, (35 years LEO) if you're not in full uniform you're not in uniform.

Burgers Allday
Burgers Allday

I am surprised that his department's policy allowed him to wear his police uniform off duty and at a child's birthday party. Or maybe there was a policy and the officer violated it.

GHarvey
GHarvey

He should have refused and forced the establishment to call the police...

Msmsry
Msmsry

Sorry, that isn't quite good enough ....

Angels06
Angels06

Has common sense left some people! If these places are so anti cop. Then when they need help call 1 800 I don't give a dam you're being robbed! If I were a cop I would sue the place. It's disgusting that people/businesses are so disrespectful to law enforcement.y

Excalibr4
Excalibr4

I'm afraid I have to agree with the manager on this one. Donut shop, fast food, no problem. However, if I go to a fine dining establishment I don't want to see anyone with guns displayed. If he was on duty, that's not appropriate. If he just stopped in for a bit for his daughter's birthday, he should have left the gun and badge in the car, or concealed both, to stay within the "always carry while on duty" rule. I support law enforcement 100%, but I have only seen a gun in a fancy establishment once in my life. It was tucked in the back of a guys pants, at the bar and when he got up to leave I noticed it before he put on his suit jacket. Probably Mafia.

Arteaga6264
Arteaga6264

So they made a booboo, but the party is over the family and friends have gone home, how do you recreate that specific moment again?

BlueMooseCode4
BlueMooseCode4

The manager should be told by corporate to apologize and if he refuses he can look for a new job. If I was that family I would have gotten up and left with him.

Snakeman 51
Snakeman 51

Lawsuit time!

fuzzy-ma
fuzzy-ma

It is the Texas law. What is the penalty for breaking that law? If no penalty then it is not worth the paper it is written on.

bryantrent
bryantrent

That manager was stupid o please

vwiles34
vwiles34

How many more incidents like this have to happen before the businesses get the message. Do none of these people watch the news and hear about this happening in other places?

asillyrabbit551
asillyrabbit551

And if a robber (s) came in brandishing a weapon would this A hole manager tell him the same thing?

RB2207
RB2207

The only way to get businesses to change their policies is financially. If you don't like their policy, don't spend your money there. When they lose money, they will change their policy. There are plenty of businesses that are more than happy to welcome those who carry.

asillyrabbit551
asillyrabbit551

this manager might need special attention when he leaves the restaurant to insure that he signals and comes to full stops, no speeding and insure that he hasn't been drinking.

RPG156
RPG156

This "law" that the article refers to is in the Code of Criminal Procedure (Article 2.1305) and isn't in the penal code with a penalty for violation. So there isn't an arrestable charge for that. The officer did not have to leave (IMHO) and should have (politely) referred the manager to contact SAPD so that on-duty officers could have responded and explained the law to him. A lawsuit, at this point, could help reinforce that.

Benny_rt2
Benny_rt2

Nobody is that uneducated or ignorant. It was completely anti police. If management reflects anti police then they are representing the company as anti police. Never step foot in there again.

IseeWhereThisIsGoing
IseeWhereThisIsGoing

So what's the consequence for breaking the law? It appears that the manager (either intentionally or due to ignorance) violated the Texas law; What are the legal consequences for his actions? Are there any?

File a civil suit against the manager if you want, but at the end up the day, have the employer re-educate the manager, and have the manager treat the entire on duty shift to dinner, on his dime as a consequence for his illegal actions, or face termination.

Janken
Janken

So when are they going to learn

MarilynSnIL1
MarilynSnIL1

In my opinion the family of this officer ALL had their party ruined by he expulsion of the officer. I feel the ONLY way to make it better for ALL of those in attendance is for the restaurant to offer the whole party (everyone in attendance) a NEW party at the restaurants expense. An armed LEO should not be ordered to leave just because he/she is armed.

theyard
theyard

The manger should be arrested and also sued.

redpill
redpill

"Texas law explicitly prohibits businesses from doing exactly what the management of Fogo de Chao did..." So, will there be charges? Should be. Ignorance is no excuse, and as the officer informed him of THE LAW saying he could be there with his weapon, the manager KNOWINGLY broke the law anyway. A law was broken, and without a penalty, you may as well cancel the law. So, how about it San Antonio?

HAWAIIBLUE
HAWAIIBLUE

Sue em civilly, so they’ll learn. That is the only way these places or any business at that, will educate their staff. Not only when the incident arises. That officer could have spent a little more time with his family, but it was taken away. Anti-Cop establishment? Every establishment is all of a sudden “pro-cop” when they get flung into the spotlight like how they should be. It’s only right. You want to film and put police in the spotlight while doing the job? Well guess what, when you do something wrong also, you’ll be in it too. Simpler yet, stop eating there. And tell your friends too. The only people who don’t like seeing cops are haters, people who couldn't be one, and people with something to hide (warrants, been arrested, or about to do something bad). Everyday citizens will usually welcome the presence of law enforcement, because they know shit won’t be happening wherever they’re at.

Gary Garvin
Gary Garvin

If you don't like us and continue to discriminate against us go protect yourself. Don't call us to save your sorry butts. We are getting sick of this crap.

sanman899
sanman899

AMERICA, how have we allowed IDIOTS dictate our lives when ZERO common sense is overridden by lunacy is beyond answers.

sanman899
sanman899

IF the ones receiving the education are receptive to it, that's a BIG if?

sanman899
sanman899

My response to the restaurant for what it's worth.

I am appalled that your Company has placed people in a position of authority that are so narrow minded and don't posses one ounce of commonsense. WHO in their right mind would think of asking a Police Officer to leave their restaurant. ARE YOU KIDDING me. This officer would be the SAME officer responding without hesitation in a moments notice to your rescue should the need arise within your restaurant. What the hell has happened to respect and common decency? I am new to the San Antonio are and moved her to escape this type of fatigued logic. Our officers run face first into danger and confront the absolute worse society brings and you ask him to leave your restaurant instead of patting him on the back and thanking him. You disgrace me and I for one will NEVER set foot in any of your restaurants and will be sure to share this story with ALL my fellow RETIRED officers.

Mama1959
Mama1959

This needs to be a law everywhere and employees need lots of education on that law.

Rascal1966
Rascal1966

The manager needs to be fired or they can buy the officer and his entire family a meal out of his paycheck!!!

Davidg_cal
Davidg_cal

Let everyone know. No LEO, no go. Tired of this crap. Snowflakes in positions of "power" and they screw it up. My 🐱 would be a better manager!!!

ikaika
ikaika

So could my cat! With all the attention this issue has gotten in recent months, you'd think that anyone who is supposed to be a manager of any establishment, from a Starfucks to a fine dining restaurant, would be taught not to discriminate against with the police -- for any reason. If these places want to hire morons who refuse to follow that rule, they should suffer the consequences. I like the idea of offering another family birthday party on the house.

trainbuff
trainbuff

Again, what makes law enforcement so special versus concealed carry people? If you view the stats, read the literature, from the leo's themselves, you'll find in many instances the concealed carry person is better trained.

Propolice
Propolice

Employee needs to be fired and the restaurant charged with the crime. This place is highly overrated anyway. Always Back the Blue!

Burgers Allday
Burgers Allday

"He explained that the sergeant could have argued with the restaurant’s management but he didn’t want to disrupt the birthday party, KSAT reported."

Anyway, sounds like the officer left voluntarily and was not ejected by force, so no crime here. Certainly a restaurant can ASK a patron to leave, even the rare situations where they cannot force a patron to leave.

Da$
Da$

Violate the law, be charged criminally. It's not a " boo boo," it's a damn crime. Charge the manager for violating the law.

NotACop
NotACop

Excalibar4--it realky isn't about what you want to see. There are laws involved here, as well as what people who expect cops to look like cops want to see.

We just need to be more comfortable seeing guns displayed by responsible ppl. It used to bother me, but since I now see guns all the time and have been known to carry one myself, I don't even notice anymore.