By Chelsea Lacey-Mabe and Ray Boyd
MCKEESPORT, Pa. (CBS) — A customer purchasing balloons from a Western Pennsylvania party store claims she was refused service when the cashier discovered the balloons were for a tribute to a fallen police officer.
Karly Lane, of McKeesport, Pa. took to Facebook to share her alleged experience at a Party City store this past weekend when the cashier asked her what the dozen blue and black balloons were for.
In the post, Lane says she explained to the clerk they were for a very good friend and police officer who lost his life one month ago. The balloons would be set free in his memory.
According to Lane, the woman seemed to change her attitude at that point and said she needed to get someone else to wait on [Lane] because she refused to support a police officer.
“My heart was broken,” said Lane. “[It’s] such a shame we have people like that working with the public.”
Party City released a statement to CBSPhilly.com about the alleged incident expressing the company’s concern about the woman’s claims and say that they are investigating the matter:
“Party City is extremely concerned regarding a recent situation where one of our valued customers claims to have been denied service. We absolutely do not condone this type of behavior and are taking the situation very seriously. An internal investigation into the allegation is currently underway and an immediate sensitivity training and code-of-conduct refresher is being held. Appropriate disciplinary action will take place for any employee who violates our code-of-conduct.”
Lane wrote a follow-up post on Facebook following the retailer’s response. She says she talked to the company’s chief operating officer and that they are making a donation to the Duquesne Police Department in Robert Gogo’s name — the officer the balloons were intended for.
According to his obituary, the 40-year-old Gogo was killed on September 3 and had been a full-time police officer for the City of Duquesne since 2005 and a part-time officer in East McKeesport.