It happened over the weekend at a eatery in Homestead, Pennsylvania, just outside of Pittsburgh.
A group of officers from Homestead and a neighboring department were having dinner at Eat N' Park restaurant when a server tried to seat the couple right next to them.
The couple wasn't having it.
"The guy looks over at one of the police officers and was like, 'Nah I don't want to sit here.' So they got moved completely opposite, away from the police officers," restaurant server Jesse Meyers told CNN affiliate WTAE
"I looked over and said, 'It's okay sir. You won't have to worry about it, we won't hurt you," Homestead police Officer Chuck Thomas said. "He looked at me hard again and said he's not sitting here and walked away."
A bright idea
Then the officers, fully cognizant of the recent heightened tensions between police and the communities they serve, had an idea. They'd counteract this rude brush off with a random act of kindness.
The officers paid the couple's $28.50 bill, and left this note on the receipt:
"Sir, your check was paid for by the police officers you didn't want to sit next to. Thank you for your support."
Boom. They even took care of the tip.
"Essentially the whole goal of it was to let him know that we're not here to hurt you," Thomas said. "We're here for you. We work for the public. And we just want to better the relationship between the community and the police."
As the officers left, one of them got a smile and quick thank you from one of the two people who had earlier rebuffed them.
But hey, you'd smile too if somebody had just paid your bill.