Deputies brought to tears after lunch is paid for by restaurant employee

FOX 35 News at 10 p.m.

- Some deputies with the Orange County Sheriff's Office were treated to a free lunch, compliments of an employee at the restaurant where they dined.

In a post on the agency's Facebook page, the Sheriff's Office said Sgt. Vidler never imagined his meal at Sonny's BBQ  would bring him to tears. 

Sgt. Vidler, Corp. Laith Kareem and Deputy Joe Littlejohn spend long, exhausting hours patrolling high crime areas.  But during a lunch break at this Sonny's BBQ on Alafaya Trail, something surprising happened.

"As we were getting the bill, we were told the bill was taken care of," said Master Deputy Joe Littlejohn.  The deputy said the generous person wanted to remain anonymous. "At a time when specifically law enforcement is not looked at a nice light, it's nice to feel that people still care for us."

But it wasn't just about getting a free meal; it was a note that touched their hearts.  "I know things are getting scary and complicated out there," the note read, "but I want you to know that there are plenty of people that support you and appreciate you and think about you every day that you're out there. Stay safe your lives matter too. Love the daughter of a police officer. That basically touched our heart."

Manager Kathy Talmadge told us that one of her waitresses, who didn't want to be identified, paid the bill. "She wanted to take care of it, because it really meant a lot to her."

According to Talmadge, the waitress wasn't the only one to write a nice note.  "I think they were very touched. They wrote a lovely note for her, thanking her for her kindness and generosity."

So as they head back out, not knowing what to expect these days, the deputies have a little more drive, knowing that others truly care about them.  "We fear for our life and the safety of everyone else and the thing is, if we can't protect other people, who's going to protect us and its nice to see other people who still support us and give us the support that we need."

"From our Deputies and all OCSO employees, we love serving the wonderful people of Orange County," the Facebook post concluded.

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