Woman Arrested for Throwing Veteran and Service Dog out of Restaurant

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Police in Kent County, Michigan told WWMT that they have made an arrest following a November incident involving a case of discrimination against a disabled veteran and his service dog.

A 21-year-old woman from Kentwood has been charged with refusing accommodation to a person with disabilities led by dogs, a misdemeanor. The woman’s name is being withheld pending arraignment on February 8th.

Gulf war veteran Frank Eckl and his family were forced to make alternate dinner plans last November when a restaurant manager told them his service dog was unwelcome. Eckl and his dog Spruce were given the cold shoulder when they arrived at Don Julio’s restaurant in Cascade Township, Michigan.

“She [the manager] said we were more than welcome to stay, but patrons in the restaurant and the manager didn’t want dog hair in the restaurant,” he said. “I was shocked that we were asked to have the dog leave and we could stay.”

Eckl requires a service dog because he has a condition that causes occasional seizures. Rather than cause a scene, he and his family went to the restaurant next door, where they were able to dine without issue.

When questioned by local reporters, the manager of Don Julio’s defended her actions and said she would do the same thing again if Eckl returned.

“I have to,” she said. “I can’t have any kind of animal be around food. It’s kinda hard having most of my customers leave out on me because of one customer.”


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6 thoughts on “Woman Arrested for Throwing Veteran and Service Dog out of Restaurant”

  1. That’s a bunch of crap. I worked in the business for 12 years and people who walk into a restaurant are dirtier than that dog. People carry dog hair on their clothing and everything else they come in contact with. That manager, server, and restaurant should be boycotted by anyone who values their veterans and service dogs. I am shocked at the stupidity of this manager.

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  2. This is amazing that justice is being done in Michigan, a state with very outdated service dog laws. Hooray. Maybe this will help to get the MI laws fixed.

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  3. This happened to my son as well at a Subway Franchise. He is a Disabled Combat Soldier (Iraq) with a service dog; we were asked to leave and would not be served. My son was treated rudely and was told he did not need a service dog that they could not see anything wrong with him. My son has PTSD, TBI, is 75% blind, deaf on the left side, facial paralysis and has a metal femur. He has a scare that runs from ear to ear across the top of his forehead. His dog helps him with vision, mobility and grounds his TBI/PTSD. We ended up leaving and going somewhere else to eat. Most people and establishments are aware of the disabled person’s rights to unobstructed access. There are still others that are not educated, not tuned into the different disabilities and especially what our troops are coming home with these days. We returned to that restaurant a day later with our service dog trainer and attempted to educate the manager who still would not grant us service. When we contacted Subway’s corporate office they told us that it is not their policy and those rules are set at the franchise level. I suppose we should have pressed charges in this situation, but after being patronized with a $20.00 gift card from the store we will never back down again.

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    • If someone with a service dog is refused service they can contact the US Dept of Justice and file a complaint. It takes time. They can also contact the police, but sometimes the police and animal control are ignorant of the laws reg service dogs. It sometimes helps to have a copy of the law with you, which can easily be printed of the ADA’s (Americans with Disabilities Act) website. However, if you are going to have a business it pays to know the law, service dog access is just one issue of many.

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  4. One day this idiot, twenty yrs Dumb will have need of a service animal or a loved one will and Karma will come full circle

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