Waterloo Regional Police say two men have been charged in connection with an incident that occurred at Milton’s Restaurant in Kitchener last year.
Police say officers were called to the restaurant, located at King Street and Fairway Road, on Nov. 10, 2021 at around 6:40 p.m. after a disturbance was reported.
They say after their investigation, two Kitchener men, aged 53 and 54, have been charged with assault, while the older man is also facing a second charge of uttering threats.
Video emerged shortly after the incident that showed a man with a service dog being forcibly removed from the restaurant by a couple of staff members.
The two physically wrestle with the man at a few points in the video and in one instance, he is thrown to the ground.
Near the beginning of the video, one of the men 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.”
In the video, one of them can be heard saying, “You are f—ing disrupting my business.”
The restaurant’s owner, Dennis Gianopolous, told Global News in November that the incident was not about the dog but began over a verbal altercation with his son, who he said asked to see the man’s proof of vaccination, proof of age and dog licence prior to entering.
“Then he asked him for the dog’s proof. He said, ‘I don’t have one,’” Gianopolous said.
The restaurant owner said the man then swore at his son when they denied him entry.
The man with the service dog says in the video that he has a licence to keep a service animal with him.
Alex Roy, who was there with his brother and his brother’s girlfriend – they are the ones who took the video – said you can 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.
— with files from Erica Vella