Attorney for Cruisers Grill owner: 'Stupid comment' led to vandalism, verbal assault on employees

JACKSONVILLE BEACH, Fla. — The attorney for the owner of Cruisers Grill said the restaurant has been vandalized since police released a memo cautioning officers about the food.

Action News Jax first broke the story Tuesday on claims that the restaurant's owner, Bobby Handmaker, ordered workers to spit in the food of police.

Handmaker's attorney, Mitch Stone, spoke about the memo released by Jacksonville Beach police chief Pat Dooley.

Dooley sent the warning on Feb. 6 urging personnel to use caution when eating at Cruisers Grill on 23rd Ave. S in Jacksonville Beach.

Dooley's letter said Handmaker indicated that his employees have spit in law enforcement employees' food.

Stone called the memo a little extreme, but he said he understands why it was sent out. Stone said in addition to the vandalism, employees are being verbally assaulted.

Stone said he has been speaking to employees and said nothing improper happens to anyone's food. He said there's an open kitchen at Cruisers, so it would be hard to tamper with food without someone seeing it.

Stone also said that social media is blowing up with people saying they are boycotting the restaurant and the employees are worried that their livelihood is in jeopardy.

We first spoke to Handmaker on Tuesday and he said he was upset he was ticketed for an expired vehicle registration, but he never said anything about spitting in food to officers and his employees would never do that.

Stone said sometimes in the heat of the moment, people say stupid things, but if that was said, it's not true.

"Even if it was said, for one stupid comment, one comment should not shut a 20-year business down and affect the lives of 50 people who rely on those paychecks," Stone said.