He had been out on a job for six hours and just wanted a quick bite to eat before a 100-mile journey back to his police station.
So PC Andre Owen of Sussex Police was far from amused when one woman scorned him for buying a meal from Burger King to keep him going.
The 25-year-old officer, who is based in Brighton, posted a picture of his Double Whopper meal that has since had more than 9,000 likes and 1,500 retweets.
He tweeted on Thursday afternoon: ‘To the lady that scorned me for buying food on duty… I’ve not stopped since 7.05am this morning, not even for toilet break.
‘I’m over 100 miles from my station and I’m due off in 45 minutes… with a two-hour journey at least! #policearehumantoo.’
PC Owen then came across a broken-down car on the M23 on the way home, and stopped traffic before helping the family to get behind the safety barrier.
He told Mirror Online: ‘Five minutes after starting my shift, I was assigned to a serious job in Brighton. I dealt with that and then had to drive nonstop to Oxford as part of the same job, single crewed.
‘Half an hour into the return journey, I stopped at a service station for my first toilet stop of the day! While there, I also got a double whopper meal, apple pie, Coke and a cappuccino.’
He added: ‘A lady eating her own food, kept staring at me whilst I waited.
‘I collected the food and as I left she said something similar to ‘whilst you’re in here stuffing your face, there’s criminals that need catching out there’, I smiled, and just walked away without saying a word.’
PC Owen finished his shift on Thursday at 7pm, some 12 hours after he started work.
He later said online support had been ‘overwhelming’, adding: ‘After all of that it took nearly four hours to get back due to helping a family broken down on M23.’