FORT WALTON BEACH, Fla. — Waffle House is under fire after some Fort Walton Beach employees called police on an African-American couple who was disputing their bill. Video of the incident quickly went viral on social media.
The customers say they were charged $2.50 for a drink that was listed on the menu as a dollar. When they asked the employees to change it, they reportedly called police instead.
When officers arrived, they told the couple to pay the bill "or you're gonna go to jail." The couple protested, requested that the confusion regarding the bill needs to be cleared up first.
The couple was then arrested by officers.
The Fort Walton Beach Police Department released body camera footage of the incident following the viral video. They say that on May 2, officers responded to the Waffle House in reference to a disorderly incident between staff and a customer. They say their officers committed "no misconduct" but that the "situation could have been handled differently by both parties."
The video shows a Waffle House employee saying, "On the menu, it says if you purchase any beverage you get 9-ounce orange juice for a dollar. We tried multiple times to explain that to both him and his significant other but yet they kept yelling and arguing.”
The couple reportedly got water, which they do not consider a beverage.
The employee told officers that they wished to press charges for non-payment of the bill. However, the woman explains that it was a To-Go order and they were never given their food.
The officers confirm that the couple never got their food.
Eventually, the couple is released. They also got a full refund.
In a statement to CBS News, Waffle House said in part, "We have spoken to our employees in the restaurant and will be doing additional training for the team members of this restaurant on the proper way to handle situations like this."
The company's CEO also reportedly called the woman involved in the incident to apologize.
In May, Waffle House faced similar backlash from customers after a video between a customer and the police went viral on social media. Video showed an officer choking 22-year-old Anthony Wall and slamming him to the ground following a dispute with workers on prom night.