An employee at a pizza shop in Torrance was fired Monday after printing a derogatory message on a police officer's receipt.
The exchange occurred Thursday when the uniformed officer stopped by Pieology about noon for a quick lunch. When the cashier handed him his receipt, he noticed "F--- The Cops" printed in the top right corner, said Sgt. Ronald Harris of the Torrance Police Department.
"He was very empathetic, wanted to take the person aside and ask them why they felt so harshly against law enforcement," Harris said of the officer, who was identified only as a department veteran. "He wanted to talk to this person about it."
But, Harris said, the officer was pressed for time and ultimately stayed quiet because he didn't want his lunch to be tampered with.
On Monday, he shared what happened with fellow officers. Outraged, one officer's wife posted a photo of the receipt on Facebook.
By the evening, the post was shared more than 5,300 times and had generated more than 1,500 comments.
In a statement posted to social media, the Rancho Santa Margarita-based pizza chain called the incident "extremely disappointing" to hear.
"The actions of this individual do not in any way reflect that of Pieology," the company said.
Meanwhile, a representative of the Police Department reached out to the restaurant.
"The department really wants to understand why the person did that and understand if there's something deeper, or why this person has ill will toward law enforcement. We really want to build bridges," Harris said. "Perhaps we can try to help, or try to assist her. That's our take on it."