Uniformed Border Patrol Agents Say Whataburger Employee Refused to Serve Them

AP File Photo: L.M. Otero

Two U.S. Border Patrol agents said a Corpus Christi Whataburger store refused to serve them because they were in uniform with duty-issued sidearms. The agents just returned to the area after being deployed to Puerto Rico for hurricane relief assistance operations.

“Two of our tactical (BORTAC) agents just got back from hurricane relief work in Puerto Rico and the first thing they wanted was a Whataburger,” Border Patrol Agent Chris Cabrera told Breitbart Texas in his role as president of the National Border Patrol Council Local 3307 that represents the agents in the Rio Grande Valley and southeast Texas. “This was the first thing they wanted when they got back home.”

Cabrera said the two uniformed Border Patrol agents entered the Whataburger located at 6425 Weber in Corpus Christi, Texas, at about 11 p.m. on Wednesday. The agents approached the counter to place their order and were told by a male employee that they would have to remove their duty weapons in order to be served in the restaurant.

The agents advised the employee they were on duty and were not allowed to disarm. The employee responded, telling them they would have to leave, Cabrera said.

Not wanting to make a scene, the agents left the store but were not happy about the situation.

“We have lots of agents that live in work in the communities that Whataburger serves,” Cabrera explained. “It’s a shame this happened. We expect a lot more from them.”

Breitbart Texas brought the incident to the attention of Whataburger’s corporate office. Whataburger Corporate Communications responded Thursday evening with the following statement:

Last night four men entered one of our Corpus Christi restaurants dressed in camouflage without any visible badges or identification. One was openly carrying a gun. The manager in charge explained that we do not allow open carry in our restaurants. At that point, the men stated they were Border Patrol officers, they became upset with our manager and they chose to leave. Had they shown their identification, we would have happily served them per our policy which allows law enforcement to open carry at our restaurants. We spoke to a Border Patrol representative after the incident and apologized for the misunderstanding. He explained that they are testing new uniforms.

Earlier this month, Whataburger fired an employee in Denison, Texas, after the employee refused to serve two uniformed Denison Police Department officers, Breitbart Texas reported. In that incident, it turned out the employee had a bad feeling about police because she said her boyfriend had been arrested earlier in the month.

At that time, Whataburger officials issued the following statement:

We took swift action and this person is no longer employed by us. We’ve also reached out to the police sergeant to apologize and plan to speak with the other officers involved to apologize in person and make this right. Whataburger truly appreciates our law enforcement and their efforts to protect and serve our communities.

The company does have a policy prohibiting private citizens from openly carrying a firearm in their stores. It is not clear if the Corpus Christi incident is a training issue or another employee with an axe to grind against law enforcement or Border Patrol agents in particular.

Border Patrol agents responded to the devastated U.S. territory of Puerto Rico following Hurricane Maria to provide humanitarian aid and logistical support for the federal relief effort. BORTAC agents “performed enforcement support missions with local police and provided humanitarian assistance in Aguadilla, Aricebo, Byamone and San Juan, as a part of the larger FEMA mission following Hurricane Maria,” according to a statement obtained by Breitbart Texas from U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

“The Border Patrol is very adept at going into desolate areas that are hard to navigate, and sometimes dangerous,” Border Patrol Agent Kevin Reilly, who recently returned from Puerto Rico, said in a written statement. “For us, it was another ‘day at work’. All the guys on MRT and BORTAC are workers; especially when we were getting the supplies needed to help the people in Puerto Rico. The Border Patrol was tailor-made for this.”

Agent Cabrera expressed his disappointment with the situation, stating, “We thought that Whataburger was above this kind of thing.”

Editor’s Note: This article has been updated with a statement from Whataburger Corporate Communications.

Bob Price serves as associate editor and senior political news contributor for Breitbart Texas. He is a founding member of the Breitbart Texas team. Follow him on Twitter @BobPriceBBTXGAB, and Facebook.


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