Letter to the Editor: Disabled veteran and service dog refused service
I am disabled and I have a service-dog. I took a K-2 cab, with my service dog, as I have many times before, to City Market to shop for a few things. This time I took a cab because I had been painfully injured 4 days previously, on top of my disabilities sustained in service to our country.
When I finished shopping, I called K-2 cab again to arrange a pick up. I waited outside City Market for about 20 minutes, in great pain, until a K-2 cab slowly passed me 2 times and then parked about 20 feet away. I called out saying that I couldn’t walk that far. The driver got out of his cab and told me that he wouldn’t take me unless my service-dog was in a kennel. I was in no condition to obtain a kennel. Federal & State law states that a service-dog can not be restricted in any unusual manner unless the dog bit someone, and then only in that location. My service-dog for 5 years has never bit anyone.
I called the police, but they were too busy since it was a Friday night. I called the K-2 dispatcher and told him about the cab driver at fault.
This dispatcher told me that it was K-2s policy, if the driver didn’t feel comfortable with the dog, to refuse to drive a disabled person with service-dog. This driver never got closer than 20 feet away from my dog. My dog is very well behaved around people. I asked the dispatcher if he would send another cab with another driver. This dispatcher told me that he would not send another cab with another driver. I told him that he was breaking Federal & State laws and he told me that I would never get a ride again with K-2.
I waited about another hour in great pain. I finally got the number for Sunshine Taxi, their dispatcher told me that they would always take a disabled person with a service-dog, and to do otherwise would break federal laws. He gave me 40 minutes for a pick-up. Then the dispatch supervisor for the police called me. The police were there in 5 minutes, and they gave me a ride home. One police officer fell in love with my dog, petting her along the way. My dog was next to the other officer and behaved herself perfectly — as usual.
I am a disabled veteran and I served 42 months in a combat zone. Often I received hostile fire pay and hazardous duty pay. Why are ADA laws broken against me in the Grand Valley?
Editors note: According to Ryan Kohlman, spokesperson for K2 Taxi, this event is being investigated. Information will be provided as it becomes available.
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