By ELLYN MARKS
6:00 PM EDT, October 4, 2012
EAST NEW YORK (PIX11)
Cops working in a certain area of Brooklyn are having to travel a lot farther for a square meal these days.
The NYPD banned them from their favorite eatery--the Lindenwood Diner in East New York--after one of their own apparently partied a little too hard at a fundraiser the restaurant held in February for the daughters of slain Officer Peter Figoski.
Officer Christopher Morris, 31, was on-duty when he allegedly got drunk at the benefit and then crashed his patrol car on the way back to the 75th precinct. He was charged with DWI.
Owners of the diner say they're being unfairly penalized as a result of the incident, especially since they had only the best of intentions when they hosted the fundraiser to help the family of Officer Figoski, who was shot dead last December during a botched robbery in Cypress Hills.
"Why should the restaurant be responsible for that?" asked Lindenwood regular Rufus Brown. "They should chastise him (Officer Morris), not the restaurant."
"If the police management decides that their officers should not come to this location it will send a wrong message," said customer Rick Bowen.
The NYPD does maintain an off limits list of legitimate businesses associated with police misconduct. The restrictions can be lifted.
Longtime customer Brian Kelleher is hoping police are allowed back soon.
"There's always been a very good, harmonious relationship between the Police Department, the diner owners and the community, " Kelleher said. "While no one condones drinking and driving, perhaps there might be some consideration given to the fine men and women of the Police Department, as well as the community here."
The cops didn't bring in a huge business. But their mere presence was reassuring to patrons who said they kept away the bad guys.