LAKE ST. LOUIS, Mo. – A racially offensive poster outside a Popeye’s drive-thru in Lake St. Louis has prompted a police investigation, but authorities say the restaurant and its employees had nothing to do with the sign.
“We are currently working and investigating a trespassing and possibly a related vandalism case which occurred at Popeyes located at 6475 Ronald Reagan Drive in Lake Saint Louis,” according to a police statement. “Earlier this month, several drive through menu signs were spray-painted. Today, unknown subjects posted an inappropriate sign on the drive-thru window, unbeknownst to the business.”
“I couldn’t believe that someone would think that was okay,” Lake St. Louis resident Don said.
Police are also investigating a possibly related vandalism case that happened in early May, when someone shattered glass and spray-painted drive-thru menu signs with obscene messages.
Lt. Pat Doering, Lake St. Louis Police Department, said the messages spray-painted on the signs were not racially offensive.
“I saw it all over Snapchat,” Abbigail Reed, a Popeye’s customer, said. “I just think it’s kind of immature for someone to put it on there.”
The racially offensive sign was replaced Wednesday with one that read, “Sorry For The Inconvenience We’re Closed For The Day We Will Be Back Tomorrow.”
Dozens of cars still drove into the Popeye’s drive-thru not knowing they were closed for the day. Some were coming for something to eat, and others said they came to see if they could see the sign for themselves.
“It’s empty. That’s why I had to stop because I didn’t know if they were really shooing people away,” Don said.
Popeye’s customer Marc Fritsche Jr. said he’s not surprised they were closed Wednesday and thought it may have been for the safety of the employees.
“It’s a very sad thought that people even came up with a joke like that,” Fritsche Jr. said. “I just hope we can put a more positive input on life and kind of be more together instead of pushing farther apart. It’s pretty sad.”
Popeye’s responded Thursday morning saying:
“We have been made aware of the situation and are investigating the matter immediately. This type of behavior does not align with our brand values and we take such allegations very seriously. The Franchise is cooperating with local authorities regarding this ongoing investigation.”Popeye’s Spokesperson
Police said they obtained surveillance video but it may be difficult to identify the person. Anyone with information is asked to contact the Lake St. Louis Police Department.
“We are asking for assistance identifying those subjects. Anyone with any information please contact the Lake Saint Louis Police Department at 636-625-8018,” the department posted on Facebook.