It is a shameful act of discrimination for a business to turn away someone who returned home after being at war with battle scars that cannot be visibly seen. But, that’s precisely what happened to one veteran while vacationing in Florida. Not only is it an act of discrimination, but also what this hotel, and many others, did to this veteran is against the law. (Watch Video Below)
Former Army Sgt. Robert Price simply wanted to find a place to sleep while he was on vacation in Daytona Beach, FL. He was not alone. He had with him his trusty companion and service dog, Walker. After serving in the Middle East and facing bomb attacks for years, Price developed post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Walker’s job is to assist him when in need. He is an official service dog with the proper identifying vest and paperwork. But, that didn’t matter to the desk clerk, Bina Patel, at the Budget Inn. She told Price that his dog was not allowed, and said she would call the police on him for having a dog on the premises when he wouldn’t leave.
WATCH Sgt. Price’s raw video footage of his interaction with the Budget Express desk clerk. (Story continues below video)
As you can see in that video, the clerk was quite rude and cold with how she treated this veteran. But, it was even worse than what this video shows. The clerk did call the police on Price, accusing him of being an American criminal for having a dog on the property. After police arrived, Price explained the situation to them. They attempted to educate Patel on the law and the fact that she cannot turn him away. She still refused to rent Sgt. Price a room.
Going above and beyond the call of duty, one of the police officers escorted Sgt. Price to numerous hotels in an attempt to help him get a room. Curiously, every single one said they were completely booked until they got to LaQuinta Inn, which welcomed Sgt. Price and his dog Walker with open arms.
WFTV has a full interview with Sgt. Price during which he recounts what happened and says, surprisingly, this is not the first time he has had the experience of being turned away because of his service dog, Walker. However, it is the first time he was called a criminal and had the police called simply because of the presence of his service dog Walker. Patel is facing a possible misdemeanor charge, which could include a fine and jail time, for breaking the Florida law by refusing service and turning away a disabled individual and their service dog.
WATCH full interview with Sgt. Price.