Police officer celebrating birthday asked to leave Olive Garden because of gun

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INDEPENDENCE, Mo. -- An on-duty police officer meeting his family for his birthday lunch at a Missouri Olive Garden says he was asked to leave because of his gun.

Officer Michael Holsworth posted about the experience on Facebook. He said that on Sunday he was meeting his family at the restaurant to celebrate his birthday. The rest of his family was running late, so Holsworth said he went in and sat on a bench.

Then, he said, one of the employees told him that guns are not allowed in the restaurant.

"Now mind you, I am in full police uniform and on duty. I actually thought it was a joke at first," said Holsworth.

He said he asked if she was serious and that the employee said 'yes.' Holsworth said, 'well I can leave I guess,' and added that the employee replied, 'yes please leave.'

WDAF reports that the president of Olive Garden learned of the incident and called Holsworth to apologize. A spokesperson for the chain said a hostess had asked the officer to leave, and the chain at one point Tweeted that it was all a misunderstanding.

@jlshultz We are very sorry for the mistreatment of this officer and anyone that was offended or concerned because of this situation.

— Olive Garden (@olivegarden) October 12, 2015

The incident was resolved, WDAF stated, adding that Holsworth then issued the following statement:

"My experience today at Olive Garden was extremely unfortunate. I posted on Facebook about the treatment I received because I did not want other officers to be subjected to the same embarrassing situation that occurred today. I had hoped to simply enjoy an uninterrupted birthday meal with my family.  I never believed I would be asked to leave a public restaurant because I was in full police uniform which requires me to carry my duty weapon. It is my hope that Olive Garden handles this situation appropriately so no other officer has the same experience I had today. I ask that the media and others respect my privacy and devote their attentions to altering the general narrative about police officers in a more positive direction so this type of situation does not occur in the future."

Read more here. 

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