NEW PORT RICHEY, FLA – Ron Pentaude never imagined the backlash he would face when he declared his Local Fresh Grill restaurant a “safe harbor” for police officers last week.
But after posting a sign that includes the image of a gold police badge next to the door of his healthy food eatery Thursday, Pentaude says he has received a host of social media abuse and a threat that his restaurant would be burned to the ground — all because of his loyalty to law enforcement.
Pentaude, a 61-year-old Navy veteran, told Patch on Monday that he didn’t expect the heated response to the sign, which he posted after his own frustrations grew with the movement by protesters to disband and defund law enforcement agencies since the death of George Floyd while in custody of Minneapolis police officers.
“The first day it was just venting,” Pentaude said of his reasoning for hanging the sign in the window of his restaurant, which he has owned for nearly four years. “But (opponents) came back so nasty that it went it from a vent to a movement.
“I’m just tired of people tearing my country apart. We really have to get sanity back into our country.”