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Houston police kick out veteran with service dog from restaurant

Published time: February 27, 2014 20:24
Reuters / Richard Carson

Reuters / Richard Carson

A Houston, Texas, police officer allegedly kicked a US Army and Navy veteran out of a local restaurant for bringing in a service dog on the grounds that he wasn’t actually blind.

According to local news outlet KHOU, Aryeh Ohayon served in the US military for 23 years. Ohayon said his service dog, named “Bandit,” helps him deal with the lingering effects of depression and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), especially if he begins to suffer from panic attack or a flashback linked to his prior experiences.

The incident began when Ohayon entered a Thai restaurant for dinner and was denied service by the manager. The veteran called police to clear up the situation, but he said the responding officer only denigrated his condition.

“I told him what my disabilities were,” Ohayon told KHOU. “That’s when he said, you’re not blind. [He said] I don’t see why you need the dog.”

“It feels like your service and experience that you’ve done to defend and uphold the Constitution and protect this country have been belittled,” he added.

According to the officer who responded to the call, he believed the restaurant owner had the right to deny a customer since it was a private establishment. Last year, however, Texas Gov. Rick Perry signed legislation that made it illegal to refuse service to individuals with service dogs.

Houston police stated Ohayon denied having any sort of disability, a claim the military veteran said is simply not true. The restaurant manager, meanwhile, said she thinks the whole situation was a misunderstanding.

Still, this isn’t the first time military veterans have been hassled over their service dogs. In August, a disabled Army veteran was kicked off a New Jersey boardwalk because an officer disapproved of his service dog – this despite the fact that the veteran showed his dog’s service identification card.

During the summer, another disabled veteran claimed he was abused by staff at United Airlines who kicked his service dog twice during a three-day layover in Virginia. As RT reported, the man said an airline employee also called him “retarded” after he explained his traumatic brain injury rendered him unable to read.

Comments (24)


Mark Newman 02.03.2014 13:41

Time for all vets to boycott this establishment. If there any local vets out there stand by your brother!


Jenn Elfi Thomas 01.03.2014 19:07

Service dogs are covered under the Americans With Disabilities Act, and cannot be excluded from any business or public place within the 50 United States. Service Dogs are not required to have special ID, and disabled people are not required under the law to tell anybody what their disability is. All they are required to do, is state that they are disabled, and the animal is a service animal. How do I know this? I have to fight all the time to bring my service dog into places, to the point that I now carry printouts from the Department of Justice, which oversees ADA compliance, to hand to the ignorant masses.


Robert Lama 28.02.2014 23:27

It sickens me to read stories like this about the mistreatment of OUR men and women who have served their country ever so faithfully. I, as well as my father, son and two grandsons have served in the military of our once great nation. What the heck has happened ? God bless American God save us all STANDUP America THE TIME HAS COME

View all comments (24)
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