Veteran with service dog turned away from Texas restaurant

By Stephen C. Webster
Thursday, May 9, 2013 11:33 EDT
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Iraq veteran John Quinones, who was turned away from a Texas restaurant for having a service dog. Photo: Screenshot via WOAI-TV.
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An Army veteran who served in Iraq and suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder was turned away from a Texas restaurant this week after the owner said he was not welcome inside with his service dog.

John Quinones told Jacqueline Ortiz, a reporter for San Antonio-based NBC affiliate WOAI-TV, that he was turned away despite the dog’s clear identification as a service animal, but said he’s not mad. He just wants people to understand that service animals are allowed in places of business.

Quinones brought his dog Diva to Winslow’s Restaurant in Fredricksberg, Texas over the weekend, but after taking his seat a manager interrupted and told him to leave.

In a segment aired by NBC News on Tuesday, Quinones explained that after coming back from the war zone, he had an intense sensitivity to bright lights and crowds, and his service dog helps him cope with that. In other words, the restaurant’s manager was lucky to have Quinones there on more levels than he could have realized, but still kicked him out anyway.

The police stopped by later to help the manager better understand what the Americans With Disabilities Act really means. The restaurant’s owner subsequently told WOAI-TV that he’s happy to comply.

This video is from NBC News, aired Wednesday, May 7, 2013.

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Photo: Screenshot via WOAI-TV.

Stephen C. Webster
Stephen C. Webster
Stephen C. Webster is the senior editor of Raw Story, and is based out of Austin, Texas. He previously worked as the associate editor of The Lone Star Iconoclast in Crawford, Texas, where he covered state politics and the peace movement’s resurgence at the start of the Iraq war. Webster has also contributed to publications such as True/Slant, Austin Monthly, The Dallas Business Journal, The Dallas Morning News, Fort Worth Weekly, The News Connection and others. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenCWebster.
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