An Iraq War veteran took to social media to express his outrage after he says he and his service dog were kicked out of an Iowa bar.
According to reports, Keleen Warren and her boyfriend Charles “Chazz” Russell were at Whitey’s Bar and Grill in Lisbon, Iowa, when the incident occurred.
“(The bar owner) jumped up from his bar stool and wrapped his hand around my throat trying to strangle me and I asked him several times to stop and he wouldn’t,” said Russell.
Russell says he suffers from PTSD from the time he served in Iraq. He has had his service dog, Elvis, since June, reports KWWL.
Russell’s post on his Facebook page also goes on to say the owner of the bar, Daren "Whitey" Rubner, also broke a bottle on the counter before attacking him.
Documents from the Lisbon Police Department confirm there was a fight at the establishment on July 3. Russell reportedly told police officials that he was assaulted by the bar owner.
“A gentlemen had a service dog inside the bar and didn’t want him in the bar, so they escorted him out,” reported Lisbon Police Chief Rick Scott. “The law states that a service dog can enter an establishment at any time.”
Warren made a post on her Facebook page that was shared more than 23,000 times. In it, Warren claims the incident began because the bar owner did not want the service dog to be inside the establishment.
The post has since gone viral and has even led to the police chief and his family receiving death threats.
“Social media has been very hard on me,” said Scott. “I’m handling it alright. I just fear for my family and stuff like that. But myself, I’m pretty thick skinned.”
For Warren and Russell, they just hope the issue brings light on issues regarding the rights of those with disabilities.
“We don’t have hard feelings,” said Warren, “I think we can go out on the limb here and say we forgive his actions, but his future actions are what we’re trying to prevent.”
The bar owner has not yet released a statement on the issue.
The American with Disabilities Act states that a private business such as a restaurant, hotel, or bar is prohibited from discriminating against individuals with disabilities. Businesses are also required to allow those with disabilities to bring their service animals into their establishment wherever customers are allowed, notes a CNN iReport.
Photo Credit: CNN iReport