Officers pay bill for couple who didn't want to sit near them

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Wednesday, July 13, 2016
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Officers pay bill of couple who refused to sit next to them at restaurant

HOMESTEAD, PA -- A group of police officers in the Pittsburgh area picked up the bill for a man and woman at a diner after the couple made it clear they didn't want to sit near them.

A waiter at the Eat N'Park diner in Homestead told WTAE he tried to sit the couple at a table near the officers, but the couple refused to sit there.

"A table goes to sit down and the guy looks over at one of the police officers and was like, 'Nah I don't want to sit here.' So they got moved completely opposite, away from the police officers," said Eat N' Park server Jesse Meyers.

Homestead police Officer Chuck Thomas said on a typical night when he goes out to eat with his brothers in blue, they're often greeted with smiles and handshakes. However, on Friday night it was completely different.

"I looked over and said, 'It's okay sir. You won't have to worry about it, we won't hurt you," Thomas said. "He looked at me hard again and said he's not sitting here and walked away."

Officer Thomas said he and his fellow officers sat there for a while thinking about the interaction with the couple when one of the officers had an idea.

"I finished my meal and Officer Strang thought well, 'we should pay his tab,'" Thomas said.

And that's exactly what he did. Officer Thomas paid for the couple's dinner and wrote this message on the check, "Sir, your check was paid for by the police officers that you didn't want to sit next to. Thank you for your support."

Officer Thomas also left the couple's server a $10 tip.

"Essentially the whole goal of it was to let him know that we're not here to hurt you, we're not here for that," Thomas said. "We're here for you. We work for the public. And we just want to better the relationship between the community and the police."

The officers said they got a smile and a thank you from the couple as they left.

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