Army vet Richard Hunter, service dog denied entry at Paterson Subway restaurant

Army vet Richard Hunter says his life changed

Army vet Richard Hunter says his life changed about six weeks ago when a nonprofit gave him a trained service dog. (Credit: News 12 New Jersey)

PATERSON - A man who went for lunch with his son and a service dog was asked to leave a Subway restaurant in Paterson on Saturday.

Army vet Richard Hunter says his life changed about six weeks ago when a nonprofit gave him a trained service dog. The German Shepherd, named Bonner, helps Hunter cope with PTSD.

"The main thing he does for me is keep me calm and helps me become a little more social when I am out and about," Hunter says. 

Mitul Ahmed, an employee at the Subway, told him the dog was not allowed. 

Hunter says he pointed out Bonner's vest and told Ahmed that as a service animal, the dog should be allowed to stay.

Ahmed says he didn't believe Bonner was a service dog, and the store manager says he was too big for the restaurant and was making customers uncomfortable.

Under the Americans with Disabilities Act, businesses that serve the public must allow service animals to accompany people with disabilities. A business can ask someone to remove a service animal if it is out of control or if it poses a direct threat to the health and safety of others.  

Hunter says Bonner was well-behaved. After serving the country, he feels like he's been slapped in the face.

"I was severely embarrassed and humiliated," Hunter says. "I was just trying to have lunch with my son, who I haven't had lunch with in years."

Police were called to the scene to resolve the dispute. According to the police report, the manager eventually offered to serve Hunter, but he declined.

More on this topic

advertisement | advertise on News 12

Trending Video

St. Joseph High School student Matthew Hall visited 1 Teen battling cancer thanks medical team as he prepares to attend prom
The owner of Jewelry Expo in Union Township 2 Sleight-of-hand thieves steal $10K worth of jewelry
News 12 New Jersey - Weather On The 3 New Jersey Weather Forecast
The event, which is only in its second 4 Central NJ brain tumor walked held in Asbury Park
A possible protest is taking shape among transit 5 Commuters threaten possible 'No Pay May' protest on NJ Transit

advertisement | advertise on News 12


It's good to know you have Walt Kane Kane in Your Corner

It's good to know you have Walt Kane in your corner.

News 12 takes a look at the hottest Tech Check

Eric Landskroner has a look at the latest gadgets and biggest stories in tech.

News 12 On the Scene

Check out these exclusive videos from New Jersey celebs!

Sorry to interrupt...

Your first 5 are free

Access to News12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Time Warner® and Service Electric℠ video customers.

Please enjoy 5 complimentary views to articles, photos, and videos during the next 30 days.