A disabled veteran was thrown out of a fast food restaurant because of his service dog.
The incident itself is troubling enough, but you won’t believe what happened after the Eyewitness News investigators arrived at the restaurant to demand answers.
It’s one of the most bizarre exchanges Eyewitness News has ever had on a story. Federal law is very clear: Dogs are recognized as service animals and all businesses open to the public, including restaurants, must allow them in.
But a U.S. Army veteran says a Subway restaurant in Paterson, New Jersey, blatantly ignored the law, and now, he’s determined to send them a message in court.
Richard Hunter’s troubled life turned around in July when the U.S. Army veteran received a service dog from the non-profit group Dogs4Warriors. The 50-year-old suffers from severe Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
“He realizes I’m having anxiety before I do,” Richard Hunter said.
So, it was a big deal when Hunter finally took his son and a coworker to lunch a few weeks ago at a Subway restaurant in Paterson, New Jersey.
“This was huge to go out with my son for the first time in over ten years,” Hunter said.
The sign on the door seemingly said it all: “Service animals are welcome,” but Hunter claims the manager, later identified as Mitul Ahmed, said something very different.
“I may have been holding the door when he first said something. He said, ‘The dog is not allowed in here. Get the dog out of here,'” Hunter said.
“He was clearly identified as a service animal,” Eyewitness News Investigative Reporter Sarah Wallace said.
“He was wearing what he has on right now,” Hunter said. “I said he was a service animal.”
“He didn’t care,” Wallace said.
“That’s exactly what he said, ‘I don’t care,'” Hunter said.