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McDonalds Manager Punches Mother Over Autism Service Dog

McDonalds Manager Punches Mother Over Autism Service Dog
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The mother of two autistic boys was punched in the face by a McDonalds manager in Marietta, Georgia. According to WSBTV, on July 12, Jennifer Schwenker had brought her twin boys and their service dog, Barkley, to the McDonalds. A surveillance tape shows one of the boys and Barkley playing in the McDonalds playplace area. It was only as the family was on the verge of leaving that Tiffany Denise Allen, the manager who was off-duty at the time, told Schwenker that the dog was not allowed in the McDonalds.

Schwenker explained that Barkley was a service dog for her two children and offered to show a permit. Under federal law, service dogs are allowed in public places such as restaurants. But after that, as shown by a surveillance tape, Allen followed the family, even to the restroom. When Schenker and her children tried to leave, she lost track of one child and — I can more than relate to this, recalling how I’ve panicked when I’ve lost sight of my 14-year-old son Charlie — she dropped her drink and splashed Allen.  After this, Allen ran “in a rage” after Schwenker to her car and punched her in the face.

Said WSBTV:

Marietta police Detective Gwen Lewis told Davis that she has never seen anything like it.

Schwenker did not want to speak to Davis about the incident, but her husband said they are talking to a lawyer.

Allen is charged with battery assault and disorderly conduct.

The owners of the store said they are “fully cooperating with the police department in their investigation” and have terminated Allen, who has also been issued an arrest warrant.

Allen’s behavior was certainly extreme. Unfortunately, she’s not the only one who has — in contradiction to the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) — said that service dogs are not allowed in restaurants, grocery stores and other places.

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Photo by Crjs452 (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

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492 comments

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9:12PM PST on Dec 23, 2014

It's not only the fact that service dogs are permitted anywhere the ADA allows, this manager is/was a ticking time-bomb. You don't assault customers who spill their drinks. Someone like that is dangerous. She needs therapy or medication.

Many companies don't train employees anymore, and of course, should. But I don't know if training would stop a person with clear anger issues from assaulting a customer. A reasonable person does not stalk a customer around a restaurant.

6:18AM PST on Dec 13, 2014

Good point Ken O. I would be surprised if McDonalds didn't have a policy that complied with the law but that's not enough. What training did they give their manager? What monitoring and supervision was there of the policy and the manager?
Where was the Duty Manager at the time of the incident and why did they not intervene and tell the off-duty manager to butt out?

McDs still have questions to answer.

9:10PM PST on Dec 12, 2014

Insensitive idiot

1:14AM PST on Dec 10, 2014

tyfi

7:43AM PST on Dec 8, 2014

thank you for sharing, have a wonderful day 2 all

6:29AM PST on Dec 8, 2014

McDonald's is figuring that by firing Allen they've sidestepped litigation, I don't think so. Sue, and sue. You'll probably get nothing from suing Allen since she likely has nothing to sue for and may only get a token amount of time in county jail. But McDonald's? They have a responsibility to train their managers and they didn't and they DO have money.

7:00PM PST on Dec 6, 2014

Some people are not the brightest bulb in the chandelier

7:34AM PST on Dec 6, 2014

This is sheer stupidity in action. What part of "service dog" do these people not understand??!?

3:12PM PST on Dec 5, 2014

Some people are beyond comprehension.

10:05PM PST on Dec 3, 2014

Horrible.

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