OXFORD, Mass. (WHDH) — Disabled Iraq War Veteran, James Glaser, says he was discriminated against and kicked out of a restaurant because of his service dog.
Glaser says he suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder and that his trained service dog Jack, is the only thing that can calm him during stressful situations.
“When I start getting upset he smells the difference in me and he will claw at my chest and he will put his arm around my neck,” said Glaser.
Glaser ran into trouble on Saturday when he and Jack showed up at Big I's Restaurant in Oxford for lunch.
“We just got into the restaurant and I hear get that fake service dog out of my restaurant,” Glaser said.
Restaurant co-owner Russell Ireland says he doesn’t consider Jack a true service dog.
“This is a post-traumatic stress dog. It's to give him emotional support. How much emotional support do you need when you are eating breakfast,” Ireland said.
However, The American Disabilities Act says restaurants and other businesses must, "allow someone with PTSD to bring in a service animal that has been trained to calm the person when he or she has an anxiety attack.”
Ireland says his phone has been ringing off the hook with angry calls, including a threat to burn down his business.
Passing drivers showed their anger by honking their horns.
"I use to go in there and eat but now I'll never give him a penny again after what I heard," said Bill Haseotes who supports Glaser.
However, Ireland is not backing down. He says he apologizes to any veteran who has a “legitimate service dog” but will not apologize to Glaser.
"I don't want him in my establishment at all. The gentleman threatened to sue me,” Ireland said.