Waterloo Regional Police say they are investigating after a video posted online shows a man with a service dog being forcibly removed from a Kitchener, Ont. restaurant on Wednesday night.
The video shows two men who are said to be the owners of Milton’s Restaurant at King Street and Fairway Road grabbing a man with a service dog and demanding he leave.
The two physically wrestle with the man at a few points in the video and in one instance, he is thrown to the ground.
Alex Roy was there with his brother and his brother’s girlfriend – they are the ones who took the video.
“I don’t know if there’s any drama between these guys prior but regardless if there is, the way that they handled everything last night as owners — I personally think that is terrible ownership,” he said, adding that he is never going back to Milton’s.
“There’s a calm route to handling that situation and then there’s the way that they did. I don’t know them, but from what I witnessed last night, that was terrible management and I am definitely not going back there.”
Near the beginning of the video, one of the owners can be heard saying “leave the dog and stay in here” as he and the other man pin the customer up against a wall.
The man with the service dog then begins to cry as the two other men let go.
“Relax man, we asked you to leave a hundred times,” the owner in a blue shirt can be heard saying.
The customer responds by saying “you came out of nowhere and I just asked you who you were.”
Roy confirmed that, unlike other staff members that night, the two men were not wearing a uniform or anything to identify them as the owners.
“So for this man — I don’t know if it was his first time there or not — how would he have known if they are the owners. These two guys approach you, asking for your papers ” Roy said. “Obviously it is intimidating.”
In the video, one of them can be heard saying “you are f***ing disrupting my business.”
The man with the service dog does say in the video that he has a licence to keep a service animal with him and Roy said you can actually see the man holding it in his hand as he’s being accosted.
“Watch the video and look in his right hand, you can see he’s holding the papers,” Roy said.
The dog can also be seen in the video wearing a reflective harness and Roy said he was told it’s a certified service animal.
According to a page on the Ontario government’s website, if someone has a guide dog or other service animal, they must be allowed to stay with that person when receiving services in restaurants.
If the service animal is not wearing a vest or harness, the owner can show documentation from a physician.
A spokesperson for Waterloo Regional Police say officers were dispatched at around 6:40 p.m. to the restaurant for reports of a disturbance and that the investigation is ongoing.
They are asking any witnesses who have yet to speak with police to contact them at 519-570-9777 ext. 8418.
Global News has made attempts to get a comment from the restaurant and the man with the service dog, but those attempts have been unsuccessful so far.