New Jersey Pizzeria Draws Heavy Fire for Alleged “Anti-Cop” Slur on a Pizza Box
Owner Frank Mancini says in-house shorthand label was misread as “pigs.”
Mancini Pizza is trying to survive a social-media storm after a police officer accused the co-owner of writing an anti-cop slur on a pizza box.
Mancini Pizza in East Brunswick, New Jersey, has come under fire after a local police officer accused one of the co-owners of scrawling the word “pigs” on a pizza box, but the pizzeria says it’s a big misunderstanding.
Frank Mancini told NJ.com that the box is actually marked with a P for “plain” and the restaurant’s symbol for garlic twists. He noted that the box in question didn’t even contain the police officer’s order. He has posted a photograph of the box on Facebook, along with an official statement, although the photo is quite small, making it difficult to reach a definite conclusion about the writing on the box.
But the East Brunswick police department has flatly rejected Mancini’s explanation, stating that it “fully supports the officer involved and is troubled over this unprovoked and unsettling incident.”
In Mancini’s version of the story, posted in a statement on Facebook, the police officer in question ordered a panini, not a pizza. Meanwhile, an order for a plain pizza with a garlic twist also came in, and Mancini’s brother, a co-owner, “prepared the order and labeled the box ‘P’ for plain pizza and a squiggly sign for the garlic twist.”
“The police officer, who was waiting for a panini, which is packaged in a paper bag, asked the owner, ‘Why did you write PIGS on my food?’ The co-owner attempted to explain to the police officer that it clearly did not say ‘pigs,’ but instead was the symbol for plain pizza and garlic twist,” the Mancini statement continues. “In addition, that was not the police officer’s order.”
Mancini says the police officer responded by saying, “OK, I’m having a bad day, just give me my food,” but then left without accepting the food or an offer for a refund.
Mancini says he saved the box and displayed it in the pizzeria’s front window in an effort to dispel the misunderstanding. But in a statement of its own, the local police department said, “The officer refutes the claims made by Mancini Pizza regarding the matter, and we stand by her account of the event. We consider this to be an affront to the officer involved, the East Brunswick Police Department and the entire law enforcement community.”
Predictably, the Mancini Pizza Facebook page has been under siege, as many users have attacked the pizzeria while others defend it, all based on what they’ve read about the incident rather than any direct personal knowledge.
“This has been a nightmare,” Mancini told NJ.com. “We love cops. People just want to blow it up for our business to fail.”