A Marine Corps veteran with was refused service at a Houston-area restaurant last week because of his service dog-in-training, Truman, according to local media reports.
Don Brown, a Gulf War vet, suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder. He and his dog were kicked out of the River Side Inn Marina in Channelview on Wednesday after a manager emerged from the back and accused Mr. Brown of having a bad attitude, a local news station reported.
“This guy comes out from the back, from across the bar, very loudly calls out, ‘Can you see?’” said Mr. Brown, who said the manager asked again if he had any sight.
“So I asked him what his name was, and he told me his name, and told me that I was catching an attitude and that I needed to leave,” Mr. Brown said. “I’m a pretty non-confrontational kind of guy. At that point, I said, ‘Really, because of your attitude, we are going to leave. This is wrong.’”
It’s against federal law to ask a person about their disability or to deny someone service because of a service dog, KPRC reported.
“I honestly didn’t want it to go this far,” Mr. Brown added. “My whole reason for even talking to the news was so that somebody else didn’t have to go through this. You run into ignorance every once in a while.”
Part of Truman’s training includes taking him out in public. On Wednesday, Truman placed himself between Mr. Brown and the angry manager.
“He wakes me up from my nightmares, which is how he helps me at home,” Mr. Brown told the Marine Corps Times. “I generally didn’t go out very much anymore. I haven’t worked in 24 months because I’ve just seem to have developed a lot of social anxieties, and so Truman helps me go out and not be always on high alert. I can relax and kind of enjoy life a little bit.”
The River Side Inn Marina had no comment on the matter.