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Clearwater couple escorted from restaurant because of service dogs

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Dr. Richard Davis with his two service dogs - Mocha and Micka. Dr. Richard Davis with his two service dogs - Mocha and Micka.
Dr. Davis and his wife Lior with Mocha and Micka. Dr. Davis and his wife Lior with Mocha and Micka.
CLEARWATER, FL (WFLA) -

A Clearwater couple tells News Channel 8 that their service dogs were the reason they were escorted from Maggie Mae's restaurant in Sand Key.

While Maggie Mae's restaurant has not responded to calls about a couple's complaint, there is a 911 tape of a host stating that the couple was asked to leave.

Don't miss out on the day's top Facebook conversations http://on.fb.me/18y81Cl 

"We have some guest that isn't leaving. We told them to leave and they're cussing at her and stuff," said the 911 caller who identified himself as a host at Maggie Mae's by the name of Sean. 

"There's a discrepancy because they're saying that their dogs are service dogs, but I don't think that they are," added Sean.

Dr. Richard Davis and his wife Lior Sher tells News Channel 8 they were eating at Maggie Mae's at the Shoppes on Sand Key when they were asked to leave.

"The manager again descended with her wrath and unloaded on us basically stating ‘get out of here. You are to leave the premises immediately. You are never to come back here again. I do not believe these are service animals'," explained Sher about what happened August 16th.

Sher said the staff had a problem with her small Morkie, Maltese and Yorkie mix service dogs from the moment they walked in.

"Within ten minutes after we were seated we had this woman that literately almost flew into our table with a rage and said unless you present documentations you can't stay here," said Sher.

Sher and her husband both have service dogs. Dr. Davis said his dog is there to alert him after he lost 70 percent of his hearing while serving as a naval surgeon. Sher wouldn't disclose her disability.

"I was embarrassed when she asked for the police to be called. It was completely uncalled for," said Dr. Davis.Davis and Sher thought once police arrived that the officers would know the rights of service animals allowed by the ADA. 

The American with Disabilities Act allows service dogs to travel wherever the public is allowed and they can only be asked to leave if they are not house trained or if they are out of control.

"Any kind of an animal any kind of a dog, any breed, any size can be used to provide services for any patient that has a disability," said Dr. Davis.

But instead the couple insists that the officers told them they had to leave. 

Clearwater Police spokesman Rob Shaw released this statement Monday:

"When Clearwater Police officers arrived at the restaurant, the two people were done eating and getting ready to leave. The officers asked if they could talk to them outside after they paid the bill. At no time were the two ever told to leave by the officers. The conversation outside the restaurant did take place with the officers."

"The Clearwater Police Department and its officers are well aware of the laws related to service animals and the ADA. Because there was no report written on this incident, we are not aware of the specific details from Saturday. We are looking into the matter," said Shaw.

What does the couple want?

"I think it needs to be a public apology," said Sher.

Calls to Maggie Mae's were not returned Monday.


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