Service Dog Owner Punched in the Face by McDonald’s Manager.

by Sue on July 28, 2011

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A warrant has been issued for the arrest of a McDonald’s manager who punched a customer in the face for bringing a service dog into the restaurant.

Security footage shows off-duty manager Tiffany Denise Allen approaching customer and service dog owner Jennifer Schwenker, who was with her two autistic children in a Marietta, GA McDonald’s the time of the incident. Allen told Schwenker that she and her service dog were not welcome in the restaurant. When Schwenker pointed out that she had a legal right to bring the dog into the establishment Allen became enraged, eventually following Schwenker into the bathroom and berating her.

Jennifer Schwenker said she became concerned for her safety at that point and decided to leave the restaurant. She did, but she spilled a drink on the way out, enraging Allen. Allen followed her into the parking lot and punched her in the face before she could leave the property.

Cobb County officials have issued a warrant for Tiffany Denise Allen for battery, simple assault fear and disorderly conduct. Surveillance camera footage shows McDonald’s employees trying unsuccessfully to restrain their co-worker prior to the assault.

Video here…

http://www.lifewithdogs.tv/2011/07/service-dog-owner-assaulted-by-mcdonalds-manager/

Sussie, Gunny (Ret.) and Rainy

{ 21 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Robin B 07.30.11 at 2:10 pm

Wow! that Broad needs to be in jail and major law suit! And it didn’t look like the other employees tried to hard to stop this off duty manager. To act like that in front of her child and the other children YIKES.. and those poor kids seeing this nut job hit their mom. Very sad and disturbing :’(

2 Cindy Zeldin 08.01.11 at 6:14 am

I understand we can legally bring our animals into every place becasue of the law, but I do not bring my dog into places where food is served.
Why enrage people? These people are ignorant and in today’s society it is quite scary to try to convince certain people that we have rights.
Use good judgement when and where you take your animals.

3 Ronnie948 08.01.11 at 7:09 am

I guess Mickey “D” pulled that video off the air. I have not been confronted by anyone because of my dog Mario. I’m not sure what I would do if I ever was. I would probably just leave and do nothing because Mario keeps me from getting at a stage where I would freak out and either hurt or kill someone. I have not got into any trouble at all since the Veterans Healthcare permited me my Mario. I have been asked to see the letter and his credentials which I’m happy to do. As you and I know there are a lot of “FAKE” people with “Fake” service dogs running around. It is usually a Hotel, Motel that I’m asked. I have never had a problem at McDonalds or Chik-Filit Etc.

4 Carl 08.01.11 at 7:23 am

Another reason not to eat at McDonald’s. Chik-fil-a is another story–the chain was started by a Baptist who actually lives his faith and provides opportunities to people and trains them well–and serves more wholesome fast food.

5 Ky Greene 08.01.11 at 9:27 am

I bring my dog into every eatery i attend. I choose booths if they are available. Mc’d's had another altercation recently as well where a vet was attacked twice with his service dog by the managers and employees. I chose Burger King last wk to have a salad and did not have an incident though when the man saw my dog moving under the booth he asked what the dog was doing . My response was “he likes to catch flys” (yes, he knew he was a service dog)
I have had discrimination here in Chicago by transportation workers who equate women dogs and donkeys as filth. Those taxi drivers pass me by. And since i am a woman WITH a dog i am twice as filthy. Now…i was told by a person of the same community but of a different faith (dogma) that were i a woman with a donkey i would have a better chance at getting a ride because the donkey is worth something.
Also, busses pass me by and when i called the transportation for the route/city…it was the same grp of peoplewho were the drivers.
(i asked the woman in charge of the district because i wanted to point something out to her were it the case, she confirmed and all incidents with the busses were on tape) I kindly asked that an “inservice” be held for their education purposes and noted that should it continue, I would have no choice but to file a lawsuit based on the ADA laws.
I also let it be known that i was not the only person with an SD that was being passed by. My dog was clearly vested but i also pointed out to her that many large dogs used by sightless folks i know are not but have a large handle protruding from thier harness and that it would be best if they erred on the side of caution and educate their bus drivers.
There is one store i DO NOT bring my dog in as they are Muslim, i have known them forever and do not want to upset the balance w/them. They have been kind to me, let me put my groceries on credit, offer me their fax machine, etc. Out of respect for their beliefs/bias Pup stays outside the door.. They are elderly and i leave it how it is. Many in the Muslim community walk 5 feet around us. And flagging a taxi is impossible.
I find it appaling that people result to violence over such things. My dog was drop kicked in HomeDepot by a local contractor who yelled “no dogs in store” as he attacked my dog. That incident was resolved but he did not get the penelty that was equal to attacking a service dog. Home Depot at first refused to give me or the police his name or release the tape of him leaving for identification. It took some pressuring and much paperwork.
I seem to digress, so i will leave it at that. There are violent and biased types out there and i pity the children of such people. And let it be said that those who do not step up to help dont have a grasp on basic humanity.

6 Jerry 08.01.11 at 9:46 am

Wow! That was a very sad event. Just a tiny bit of training could have prevented that.

I take Peanut every where I go. Yes, into Mc Donalds, Costco, Walmart, Black Angus, Sizzler, and countless other restaurants. I need him and I would never leave him in the car (not even for a minute). I rarely have a problem at those places. Places I have had a problem include : the Rose bowl swapmeet (poorly trained security), The Saugus Speedway swapmeet (great security) poorly trained employees, the Antelope Valley Fair grounds for a concert (Antelope Valley Sheriff’s Dept. volunteers who just do not know any better). None of these places has ever not allowed me in, they did mess up my day (or evening) but I always was allowed to enter.

I always try my very best to be a gentleman about it and solve the problem through diplomacy, and information sharing.

Take care,
Jerry

7 Carol 08.01.11 at 10:19 am

I live in Caluifornia and have taken my small service dog everywhere I go. As a matter of fact, in the community I live in, she is like a rock star. Everyone knows her and loves her. Since I have had numerous surgeries, my service dog is even in the hospsital holding area with me before I go into the operating room. If I have to spend the night in the hospsital, my husband brings her in and she lays on the bed. The nurses are so thrilled to have her, that when visiting hours are over, and my husband takes her home, the nurses beg her to stay. I tell the nurses they are getting paid to take care of me, not take my service dog out in the middle of the night for a pee-pee walk. They still want her to stay. I also have been to Stanford Hospital for procedures, and they are very dog friendly. Stanford is a wonderful atmosphere for service dogs, and no-one even bats an eye. There is one time I had a small problem and that was in Modesto, Ca at a Dennys restaurant. We walked in, took a booth away from everyone, and the Manager came over and told me we could not stay. I showed him her documentation, and he argued that only “seeing-eye” dogs for blind people were service dogs. I refused to leave and gave him the phone number to Washington DC. Told him to call it if he wanted to. I also advised him that I would call the police and he and this restaurant would be subject to a lawsuit and fine, as well as unwanted publicity. He backed off rather quickly and we had our meal. I might add that the manager was middle-eastern. I have taken the stance, that I refuse to be bullied by ignorant people. I’m 63 now and I’m done with stupid people. I will defend my dog and myself to the bitter end. We know our rights and that’s how I roll.

8 Michelle 08.01.11 at 2:01 pm

You forgot to mention that the manager thought that the drink had been thrown at her because she did say that and also the video did show it splashing on several people.

But even with that being the case, it still doesn’t give her a reason to act like a rabid animal and to physically assault anyone.

I wonder if the SD owner had carried around those ADA cards and simply handed one to the manager without continuing to argue with her, if that would have deflated the situation. Probably not… The manager did seem kind of crazy and unable to control herself.

9 Robert Backlund 08.01.11 at 9:04 pm

The reason that this stuff still happens in this day and age (it is 2011) is too many people with Service Dogs do nothing when they are discriminated against. I on the other hand do not take any ones crap any more. I get names and file complaints with the Dept of Justice and if I were able to find an attorney to represent me I would be filing law suits! I live in the state of Florida and recently learned that the State Legislature has placed service dogs for the handicapped on the same level of protection as police animals. So if you live in the state of FL and you encounter any sort of interference with your service dog I understand that it is a felony with a mandatory 3 year prison term and that is just for interfering with your SD doing their job, if they are attacked and injured either emotionally or physically then the penalties increase. Perhaps Spot could compile a listing of ADA attorneys that would be willing to provide legal representation to people who encounter difficulties with the ADA and their civil rights being violated.

10 Joyce 08.01.11 at 9:42 pm

I belonged to a group for professionals with psychiatrists and other mental health workers. I emailed the group and told them that I would be bringing my SD. I got back 3 responses. The first person, a psychiatrists told me that my dog would be a distraction and that it would interfere with the group process as people would want to pet the dog. The second person, a social worker, wrote and said ” I second that email” and that the dog would be a distraction to her also. then the third person, a Family therapist emailed that she has clients with service dogs and she allows them to come in to her office because she knows if she does not then her clients would not come back. then she said that if I brought my dog then all the other members of the group would bring their dogs. She also said that she did not want my dog there because he the SD would be a distraction.
This is a bunch of bull. They dont have to go near my dog. these shrinks need to grow up and control their selves.
I cried for 3 weeks and I have not been back to the group since. Yesterday I got an email from the psychiatrist asking me why I was not coming to group and if she hurt my feelings. I just dont know where to start answering her.

11 DIANA 08.01.11 at 10:42 pm

i have a service goat and is my best freand i take her eveyware i go she is welcomed so fare everware i go

12 Linda 08.02.11 at 12:19 am

Joyce, I would reply letting her know that they broke the law by their replies. In fact you did not need to ask, you could have simply gone, I would have.

My dog goes into food places and any place else I go other than where there are other dogs (he was attacked by a lose dog and now is afraid of other dogs).

I was asked for proof at one National Park and asked to get off a park bus (once I said service dog the bus driver allowed us both on).

I had one person point out I had missed reading a sign that said “No Pets” I replied, “My dog is not a pet, he is a service animal”. He didn’t understand, but his wife did. I also told him he was exempt from the rule.

Maybe we have been lucky, but we have had very few issues.

13 Ronnie948 08.04.11 at 7:37 am

After reading of so many people having problems I’m thinking if Confronted I had really just better leave. If anyone ever kicked my Mario I know I would have to actually kill them. They would get no chance at all to get away with doing something like that to my very best friend. My dog keeps me from getting aggressive and He is 100% on the job. He is my medication.
I know I would just plain lose it if someone tried to hurt my dog. So far I have never been told Mario could not enter a place. Like I said in my first post ” I have been asked to provide his crediantials and I’m more then happy to show them.I carry a copy of the VA Doctors letter with me as well as our ID card.

14 Jan, a Paps mom 08.04.11 at 2:47 pm

Susie, Gunny and Rainy:
I wonder if anyone has ever thought about setting up a group of attorneys who are on retainer to take these types of cases. As home schoolers, we pay a fee to belong to a group who will represent anyone who has difficulties as a result of home schooling. They will intervene in your behalf free of charge to write letters, file lawsuits, do battle with the local uninformed idiots at the public school level, etc. Wouldn’t it be nice to have such a legal support group on your side? Their card could be carried along with the ADA papers, Service Dog identification and the like.

15 Erica 08.05.11 at 2:19 pm

I will be getting a service dog in the future and stories like this get me a little stressed about how ignorant people really are. One thing I know is that i won’t be taking other people’s crap though when it comes to someone being misinformed. I have no problem calling the police if I were to get harassed or seeking someone in a higher position (like a manager or boss) to get things worked out. I also believe that there needs to be more legal and affordable help for people to prosecute such injustice. No one should be treated in such a way and it is going to take more people standing up to fix the problems and ignorance of such people, companies and institutions for things to start to change. I hope in the future there will be less ignorance and more acceptance with people with disabilities and their service dogs who help them.

16 K Clark 08.14.11 at 2:42 pm

Cindy,
If you choose to self-discriminate no one can stop you. The reason we have service dogs is to keep our freedom to enjoy everything everyone else is entitled to enjoy. If you keep your SD clean, well trained and make sure to allow him/her to relieve herself before entering an establishment you should not feel any reason not to patronize any eatery. I will not remove myself from an activity because of someone else’s ignorance. You simply report them and go on about your business. By not standing up for our rights we enable people like crazy bitch to take the law into their own hands. I will NOT allow anyone to do that to me.

17 K Clark 08.14.11 at 3:13 pm

For those wondering about the ADA ID cards. There is no ID card required for a service dog. And because of that sometimes it creates more problmes that it may solve. Many people know that you can buy one of these cards from any website whether your dog is a service dog or not. So many times the card in itself creates suspicion.

That said it wouldn’t have made a difference because I’ve tried it in the earlier years of partnering with my service dog.

18 Allice Allen 09.01.11 at 11:11 am

Good job, warrent issued this can be used with other place that think they have the right to keep Service Dogs out of public places. She need anger management too! But here in Boise Winco stores are almost getting to this point. Maybe they should check this out.

19 Allice Allen 09.01.11 at 11:15 am

Susie/ Gunny & Rainy We need that legal help in Boise Id, the Winco store here is really bad. If you look at the blogs, from the article you wrote you would be surprised. I am currently waiting for paperwork from DOJ to file a complaint against this store, even after trying to giving all the websites to the legal depart they still jump all over us. But I will stand my ground and keep going where I want to go. Thanks for your article. AA

20 Debbie 09.06.11 at 10:20 am

this was not only criminal it was a hate crime, the customer was white the manager black, in the video you see a black customer holding a CAT in the restaurant and nothing was said to her, hate crime!!!

21 Linda 09.06.11 at 7:54 pm

I have read through this blog a number of times and still just can’t imagine that anyone would act this way. How can you be a manager and do something like this.

Guess if confronted we had best keep this in mind. Leave and file a complaint with the DOJ.

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