McDonalds Manager Punches Mother Over Autism Service Dog


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.


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.

According to Life With Dogs, an Albuquerque Hooters restaurant refused to serve Air Force Master Sergeant Justin Jordan because of his licensed service dog, Dallas. Jordan suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder and says that Dallas has helped him to go out more in public. Even after Jordan showed documentation that Dallas was a service dog, the restaurant manager called police to remove Jordan and Dallas — and then, even after the police sided with Jordan, the restaurant manager refused to serve them.

Further, the New Haven Register reports that Air Force veteran Kim Mucha has been told she will be arrested for trespassing if she returns to the Big Y Supermarket in North Haven, CT, after her service dog, Ivy, defecated in the store’s aisle. Mucha noted that she cleaned up after her dog immediately and has “seen old people and kids make messes on the floor and nobody ever threatened to have them arrested.”

Clearly more than a few businesses need to review what the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) says about service animals and the essential function they serve for many Americans.

Related Care2 Coverage

Alabama Passes Bill to Allow Autism Therapy Dogs in Schools

Disabled Veteran and His Dog Targeted by City Officials

Prison Inmate Trains Therapy Dog For Autistic Boy

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


W. C
W. C1 months ago


William C
William C1 months ago

Thank you.

Pamela Mcpherson
Pamela Mcpherson2 years ago

that manager had no right denying a service dog and no right hitting that woman. She needs to be fired and pay money to the woman for what she did. That is so uncalled for.

Patricia W.
Patricia W2 years ago

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.

Clive N.
Clive N2 years ago

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.

Carole R.
Carole R2 years ago

Insensitive idiot

Jonathan Harper
Jonathan Harper2 years ago


Teresa Fazackerley
Teresa F2 years ago

thank you for sharing, have a wonderful day 2 all

Ken O.
Ken O2 years ago

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.

Mike H.
Mike H2 years ago

Some people are not the brightest bulb in the chandelier