Benjamin Wardrid, an Iraq war veteran who suffers from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, claimed this week that he was refused service at a North Carolina restaurant after he entered the establishment with Beau, a service dog that helps him cope with his condition.
Wardrid, who is classified as disabled, told WBTV-TV that the incident unfolded Wednesday evening when he accompanied family to Hong Mei Hibachi Grill and Buffett in Mooresville, N.C.
“I went to go eat with my family … and was refused service from this restaurant,” he told the outlet. “It was strictly because I had my service dog with me. I was completely baffled and that is the first time that has ever happened to me.”
Beau means a great deal to Wardid, who joked that the dog knows him better than his own wife.
Under the Americans With Disabilities Act, businesses that serve the public are forbidden from discriminating against those with disabilities. Armed with this information, Wardrid returned to the restaurant with Beau and again attempted to get service.
This time he was successful and now says he’s simply happy not to be discriminated against.
The owner of Hong Mei Hibachi Grill reportedly refused to speak on camera about the incident, but did purportedly tell the outlet he has, in the past, had bad experiences with service dogs.
This follows another incident in Oxford, Mass., last August in which James Glasser, also an Iraq war veteran, claimed that he felt “belittled” after he and his dog — a certified canine that helps him battle post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) — were similarly not allowed inside a local restaurant.
Featured image via WBTV-TV.
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