Video of a man appearing to be forcefully removed from a restaurant has gone viral on the Internet prompting local police to investigate. Restaurant goers at a restaurant in Kitchener, Ontario, Canada witnessed an unpleasant altercation between a man attempting to bring his service dog into the restaurant.
In the video filmed by a bystander, a heated exchange is underway between two men asking the man with the dog to leave.
According to Jeff Roy, who posted the clip to Facebook on Wednesday November 10, 2021, the two men are purported to be the restaurant owners. Roy wrote:
“Just experienced this at the Milton’s restaurant in Kitchener Ontario, you see both owners refusing and throwing out this paying customers because they refused the service dog…please watch this sad video, it just happened… I just witnessed this.”
In the video, the men use profanity-laced language, telling the man that he is trespassing and that he was asked to leave “a thousand times.”
The men can be overheard saying “we asked you for the license for your service dog” and the man replies “and I asked you who you were.” No response is audible.
As the conversation escalates, the two men are seen grabbing the man in the video despite his protestations for them not to touch him. The man shouts, “I’ve done nothing wrong.” He adds, “I’m on the right side of the law and I’m not leaving.”
The shouting continues but at one point a woman’s voice is heard telling the two men to stop touching the man.
“Stop touching him, leave him alone, you are hurting him,” she says as the man is pushed to the floor.
“We want him out of here,” one man says.
“He’s got a service dog,” the woman says.
Eventually, the man is seen exiting the restaurant with his dog.
The video has since gone viral, being posted on reddit and other social media channels and prompting outrage from viewers.
Redditor CripplinglyDepressed who indicates they live close by commented, “This place is about 20 mins from my hometown. The owner and manager are both drunkards and huge a**holes.”
One redditor was upset for the man’s service animal. “My heart breaks for this poor dog. Just trying to do her job and help her best friend and then she has to watch him get assaulted, hear him cry, and ignore all her instincts to help her person. This was a terrible situation for both of them and I hope he sues the sh*t out of them.”
Another commented, “If that’s a legitimate service dog and they were indeed throwing him out because of the dog, this dude just won the lottery.” According to the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act “if a person with a disability is accompanied by a guide dog or other service animal, the provider of goods or services shall ensure that the person is permitted to enter the premises with the animal and to keep the animal with him or her unless the animal is otherwise excluded by law from the premises.”
Other redditors noted that the restaurant’s website has gone offline and no one was answering the phone, likely the result of an outpouring of outraged people attempting to contact the business. One redditor commented, “Go look them up on Google and read the reviews pouring in minute by minute. This business is dead, at a minimum they’ll have to change their name to recover from this.”
The video had been viewed more than 110,000 times on Facebook alone and has received thousands of comments and shares.
CTV News is reporting that as of Thursday (Nov 11) Waterloo regional police are investigating the altercation. The police service has put out a media release stating that they are “aware of the video” and that “the incident is under investigation” and they are asking for witnesses to contact them.
This story will be updated as information becomes available.
Nov 12, 2021 Update
The man with a service dog in the video has been identified as Justin Leckie. Leckie was interviewed by CTV News Kitchener and told the news station that he was wrongfully removed from the restaurant.
He said he was seated when two men approached him and demanded to see his service dog’s certification.
“I don’t just show my papers to anybody,” said Leckie. “She [his service dog] helps me with general anxiety, panic attacks, depression, that type of thing.”
He said he was holding the papers in his hand when the men told him to leave and that he was trespassing.
“They weren’t having any of it,” he said. “They said if you don’t get up right now we’re dragging you out right now. And they did.”
Alex Roy and Trinity Wojcik were the two restaurant goers who captured the interaction on video. They said that as soon as they saw the men grab his coat and put hands on him they began filming. They called the police to come and help.
Wojcik said it was difficult to watch and process. Leckie, who experienced it also is shaken from the experience and hopes no one will have to go through what he did.
“It still feels rather surreal,” said Justin Leckie. “I never thought I would have to go through something like that.”
Police are continuing to investigate.