Blind man says restaurant told him to remove service dog

A Detroit-area man who can’t see says a restaurant eschewed requirements of federal disability law when it asked him to remove his service dog.

The Macomb Daily reports 38-year-old Nathan Schneck and his wife, Stacy, were at Grand Azteca restaurant in Fraser, with his service dog, Husker, sitting under the table. Schneck said the manager asked him to put the golden retriever in the car because of concerns from other customers.

“At first, I was like ‘Are you kidding me?’ said Schneck, who has had his service dog for a few months. “This is the first time something like this has happened to me. I was told it would, but I never expected it.”

Schneck said he explained that establishments serving the public must abide by the Americans with Disabilities Act and are required to let in service animals. After trying to explain, Stacy Schneck said they left and had dinner elsewhere.

“I felt attacked and uncomfortable,” she said. “We have eaten there before with Husker and never had any trouble until now.”

Restaurant manager Ezequiel Ramos tells the newspaper that customers had health concerns about the dog. But he says he didn’t fully understand federal disability law and would explain it to customers in the future.

“I am very sorry over this, but now I will know what to tell people,” Ramos said. “I’m sorry I let (the Schnecks) down because they are good customers. I want to apologize to them myself.”

Ramos said he hopes the couple will come back with their dog.

Nathan Schneck said he can forgive, but has “mixed emotions” about going back.

“I’m not trying to ruin anyone’s business, but for me personally, the damage has been done,” Nathan Schneck said.  (AP)

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