The reported refusal of Pizza Hut employees to serve Walton County Dep. Bradley Stafford last week has created quite a stir in Defuniak Springs, so much that some have started an e-mail campaign to boycott the restaurant.
Last Tuesday, Stafford shot and killed 23-year-old Travis Burns, a man who allegedly broke into his home. Friends say a cousin of Burns was working at Pizza Hut the next night. Stafford came by to eat and there the details of what happened are unclear, but ultimately he was told to leave.
After repeated questioning, Pizza Hut has finally acknowledged that the incident took place. They issued a statement saying they have concluded their investigation into the matter and regret that it happened. They add this was not a management decision and that disciplinary measures have been issued.
They would not elaborate on those measures. So far, it doesn't seem like the e-mails are having a huge effect on Pizza Hut's business, but people are certainly talking.
Margaret Yohn says, “He's just a customer and he deserves to be treated like any other customer. We're innocent until proven guilty anyway. I think it's discrimination they had no right to judge him.”
Kathryn Clark adds, “People get upset. It’s family. You never know, but if they've issued an apology then that should be enough and I don't think I would boycott Pizza Hut.”
The Walton County Sheriff's Office has not commented on the incident except to call it "unfortunate."