Veterans kicked out of bar because of service dogs
Bar manager claims they asked Veterans to keep dogs on patio, not to leave
SAN ANTONIO - A confrontation at a North Side bar became violent after three veterans said they were asked to leave because of their service dogs.
However, managers at Rebar said Sunday that Saturday's incident had nothing to do with the dogs.
Carrie Ann Partch, who uses a service dog for post-traumatic stress disorder, said she used her cell phone to record an incident on Saturday where she and her two veteran friends were pushed and pepper-sprayed.
"We were there a couple of hours," said Partch. "Then, all of a sudden, it started picking up and the manager told us we had to leave."
However, Rebar general manager Chris Rivera said they didn't have a problem with the service dogs until the veterans started walking the little dogs inside the crowded bar.
"We had a couple of customers complain about the dogs," said Rivera. "They were little dogs and they were walking in and out with the dogs and people almost tripped over them. So, we asked when it got busy, if they could please keep their dogs in the front and back patio."
According to the Americans with Disabilities Act, service dogs are allowed inside. That's where Partch said they told the general manager they wanted to stay.
"It wasn't until they started getting loud with us and one of the guys pushed our security officer, that we finally had to ask them to leave," said Rivera.
However, Partch said it was the security officer who got aggressive.
"I tried to go back inside and get my things," she said. "He grabbed me. He pushed me. He grabbed a drink out of my hand and threw it across the patio."
"I turned out to go away and he reached out an pepper-sprayed me," said Lance Ziebell, who also uses a services dog for PTSD. "Right in the face."
Both parties called police, but no charges were filed.
"Service dogs aren't just for blind people," said Ziebell. "These are for all sorts of handicaps that aren't always visual."
Although Rivera said he was only concerned about the safety of the animals and their customers, Partch said she still plans on contacting Disability Rights Texas and that she also plans on testifying before the Veterans Commission in Austin on Thursday in hopes of making it a crime to turn away service dogs.
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