A couple who refused to sit next to a group of police officers at a restaurant in Homestead, Pennsylvania, got an unexpected response.
On the night of July 9, four officers were having dinner at Eat N’ Park restaurant when server Jesse Meyers tried to seat the couple next to the officers, The Blaze reported.
The couple refused.
“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,'” Meyers told local ABC News affiliate WTAE. “So they got moved completely opposite, away from the police officers.”
Homestead Police Officer Chuck Thomas decided to poke fun at their behavior.
“I looked over and said, ‘It’s OK, sir. You won’t have to worry about it, we won’t hurt you,'” Thomas recalled. “He looked at me hard again and said he’s not sitting here and walked away.”
The Pennsylvania officers weren’t offended—instead, they counteracted with an act of kindness.
Before they left the restaurant, the officers paid the couple’s $28.50 bill, and left a note on the receipt: “Sir, your check was paid for by the police officers you didn’t want to sit next to. Thank you for your support.”
They even left a $10.00 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 explained to WTAE. “We’re here for you. We work for the public. And we just want to better the relationship between the community and the police.”
Thomas said tensions have heightened in the community since five police officers were shot and killed on July 7 by a gunman at a Black Lives Matter protest in Dallas.
“Tensions in the community were tight. A lot of people were coming up to us and shaking our hands and thanking us, but you could just feel tight air through the community,” Thomas said.
“It just dawned on me, I should do this real quick just to show this guy, ‘Look, I don’t know if you had bad experience with the police in the past—you may have, you may have not—but I just want you to know I never had an experience with you and I’m not here to do anything to you. And neither will my partners.'”