By Chris Teale (File photo)
A uniformed officer with the Alexandria Police Department was denied service at a Duke Street eatery Monday.
At approximately 6:30 p.m., the officer entered the Noodles & Company at 3105 Duke St., but was refused service while she waited in line. The restaurant is a fast-casual eatery that serves a variety of noodle and pasta dishes from around the world.
According to multiple reports, a female cook at the restaurant came out from the back and told the cashier that she refused to cook for the officer.
The officer, who wishes to remain anonymous, then left. Police spokeswoman Crystal Nosal said the department wishes to put the incident behind it and move on.
“These are very difficult times right now in our relations with everyone, and to have one of my officers treated in that manner unnecessarily, your first response is anger,” Police Chief Earl Cook told NBC4. “Then you calm down a bit and say let’s just find out what happened.”
Police officials said they do not wish to see any acts of revenge on the restaurant, either stealing food or boycotting it completely. The department’s Twitter account began lightheartedly referring to the incident as “Noodlegate” Wednesday.
“There should never be any discrimination in America,” Mayor Allison Silberberg said in a statement.“It is outrageous and will not be tolerated in Alexandria. This was blatant discrimination, and it was against one of our finest. We cherish our Alexandria Police Department and all those who serve in law enforcement. We thank them for their service and courage.”
In a statement, Noodles & Company apologized for the actions of its employee and said it has launched an internal investigation.
“Noodles & Company expects the highest ethical and personal behavior from its team members,” the statement reads. “We value each of our guests and are committed to treating everyone with dignity and respect. We do not tolerate any form of discrimination.
“We are working with the appropriate authorities and local police association representatives to get to the bottom of [this], and resolve this matter as quickly as possible. We have made efforts to reach out to the police officer involved, but have not yet spoken with her. We will continue to look into the situation and will take the appropriate actions at the conclusion of this review.”
City spokesman Craig Fifer said that since the restaurant is handling the investigation internally and the officer dealt with it appropriately, there is no need for further escalation.
In an interview with FOX5, Alexandria police union representative Pete Feltham said the restaurant has agreed to put a sign in its window that supports the pro-police “Blue Lives Matter”movement.
“It appears that there is may- be just a couple of bad seeds and the Noodles and Co. business will be handling that internally,” he said. “Noodles and Co. has agreed to post signs on their doors that they support blue lives. They’ve been very cooperative with us in this matter and we hope they continue the cooperation. We hope that the business is not judged by the actions of a couple of individuals.”