Florida

Man was cuffed over $1 orange juice at Waffle House. Now the building is coming down

Screenshot
Screenshot

A video of a couple arguing with police officers at a Florida Waffle House over whether or not they paid their check went viral back in May.

Soon after, the Fort Walton Beach Police Department released bodycam footage of the incident, admitting “the situation could have been handled differently by both parties.”

But that location, which received a mountain of unwanted negative attention after the incident, is now closed and is being torn down, reports Northwest Florida Daily News.

A sign outside thanked the community for “many years of patronage.”

Pat Warner, Waffle House’s Director of PR and External Affairs, says the closing is not related to the May 3 incident, but due to an issue with the lease. “We made the decision well before this incident to close the restaurant,” Warner told The Miami Herald.

According to the Fort Walton Beach Police Department, a 911 call was placed in the early morning hours about a disorderly customer.

Footage shows a black man come outside the Waffle House and talk to cops, attempting to explain that he wants his bill overcharge fixed. Apparently, there was confusion about the cost of an orange juice.

The situation quickly escalated. The patron’s girlfriend is also there, recording.

Cops keep insisting he pay his bill “or you’re gonna go to jail.”

Then one officer points a Taser at the patron’s chest; then the man is placed in handcuffs, the girlfriend, too.

A Waffle House employee calmly explains to the officer the couple’s charge was correct because the juice is only $1 if you also purchase another beverage, but the couple didn’t do that and became “belligerent.”

No arrests were eventually made in the incident.

In a statement, the Fort Walton Beach Police Department later said it “strives to provide superior police services to all citizens and uses opportunities such as this to learn and refine our interactions with the public.”

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