A Jacksonville Beach, Florida, police chief sent a warning to all police department personnel after a restaurant owner reportedly said that employees spit in law enforcement employees’ food.
Chief of Police Patrick Dooley sent a warning to his colleagues on Feb. 6 urging them to use caution when eating at Cruisers Grill in Jacksonville Beach.
Dooley’s letter said that the owner of Cruisers, Robert Handmaker, indicated that his employees have in the past, or will in the future, spit in law enforcement employees’ food.
Jacksonville Beach police became aware of the possibility after Handmaker reportedly told an officer, “I have been made aware for quite some time now that some of my employees have been spitting in officers’ food, and now I know why, because you are all bullies.”
According to a police report, Handmaker made the comment to officers after they responded to the business for a false fire alarm.
Officers said Handmaker asked if he could talk to the officers in his office for a moment.
Handmaker showed the officers a traffic citation and said he was stopped by an officer for an expired registration, officers said.
“I explained who I was, and he didn’t seem to care,” Handmaker reportedly told the officers.
Handmaker said he has been a staple in the Jacksonville Beach community and has been offering discounts to public servants for years.
Handmaker reportedly cursed at the officers after one of them told him he couldn’t resolve his complaint, but would inform a supervisor.
Then Handmaker called all officers “bullies” and made the comment about his employees spitting in officers’ food, according to the report.
Officers said Handmaker cursed at them several more times and said “Have a great day, (expletive),” as they left the business.
“While I will not issue an order prohibiting patronization of Cruisers, please use caution for health and safety reasons if you choose to eat at this establishment,” Dooley said in the letter.
Dooley said he provided personnel with the information so each person can make an informed personal decision.
“Should Cruisers, its owner, or its employees request police assistance, my expectation is, as always, that you provide the highest level of professional customer service,” Dooley said in the letter.