ELIZABETHTOWN, Ky. — Date night is supposed to be romantic and fun, a time when work-related concerns are left at home.
Saturday night, date night for two off-duty police officers in Kentucky ended when they foiled a robbery at a restaurant chain in Louisville, WDRB reported.
The married couple, Chase McKeown and Nicole McKeown, are officers with the Elizabethtown Police Department. They were eating dinner at Raising Cane’s Chicken Fingers, their favorite fried chicken restaurant, around 10 p.m. when a masked man walked up to the counter, showed a gun and demanded money, the Courier-Journal reported.
According to an arrest report, the man was identified as Justin Carter, 30, WDRB reported.
When Carter flashed the gun, the couple, who had been married for just six months, sprang into action.
“I think we kind of both saw him at the same time,” Nicole McKeown told WDRB. “I looked at (my husband) and said, ‘That’s kind of odd.’”
“I saw (the employee’s) hands go up like this and I’m like, ‘Is he doing what I think he’s doing?’” Nicole McKeown said at a news conference Tuesday. “And he’s like, ‘Yeah.’”
Video footage shows the McKeowns getting up from their table, drawing their weapons and chasing Carter, the Courier-Journal reported.
Carter basically chickened out, rushing from the restaurant as the two officers gave chase. The couple held Carter at gunpoint a few blocks away from the restaurant until Louisville police arrived and arrested him, WDRB reported.
Carter was charged with first-degree robbery, receiving a stolen firearm and possessing a handgun as a convicted felon, according to court records. He has pleaded not guilty to the charges, the television station reported.
The officers were in the right place at the right time, thanks to a date night.
“At our church, we’ve been focusing on marriage,” Chase McKeown told WDRB, adding that his church emphasizes having a “date night” once a week.
“It is my belief that if not for the heroic actions of these two officers the perpetrator’s actions inside the business would have escalated. They acted honorable and heroically,” Deputy Dan Mason, of the Louisville Metro Police Department’s robbery unit, told CNN.
In addition to being heroes, the McKeowns gained an added benefit. They ate at the restaurant on their wedding night, the Courier-Journal reported. Restaurant officials said the couple would receive free chicken dinners for the next year.
Winner, winner, chicken dinners.
“Detective Chase and Officer Nicole McKeown, we know your date night got cut short, so we’ve got your Cane’s covered for the next year,” Raising Cane’s officials said Wednesday morning. “Thanks for protecting our customers and crew.”