PHILADELPHIA — A woman shown on video screaming at a veteran who brought his service dog inside a Delaware restaurant is now telling her side of the story, according to WTXF.
In the video, Ciara Miller is upset about a veteran’s service dog being allowed inside Kathy’s Crab House in Delaware City.
“I’m leaving because the food is nasty and there’s a dog,” Miller can be heard yelling in the video.
An employee tells Miller that the dog’s owner is a military veteran who “fought for our country.”
“My husband’s dad did too. My husband’s dad fought for the f****** country! So what?! It’s still nasty to me!” she yells.
Miller told restaurant employees there should be a separate section inside the restaurant for service animals. Under the Americans With Disabilities Act, service animals are legally allowed to stay with handlers while inside restaurants.
According to WCAU, Army National Guard veteran Bill Austin and his dog, JP, is a Delaware native who now lives in Montana.
“It’s making people understand that ‘You know what? This is not the way we should be treating each other,’” Austin told WCAU.
In an interview with WTXF, Miller told her side of the story.
“The dog’s body was about the same height as the table. Basically, the butt was sitting in front of me at the table,” Miller said.
Miller claims a staff member and others made the incident racial.
“6 or 7 people yelling out, (expletive) you, get that (expletive) out of here, making derogatory racial statements,” Miller told WTXF.
No racial slurs can be heard in the video of the incident.
After the incident, the restaurant added a sign that reads: “Service dogs welcome.”
When asked about Miller’s claim of racial slurs, a spokesperson for the restaurant said “no comment” and referred to the statement they posted on Facebook:
“We would like to express at this time how sorry we are over the embarrassing turn of events that occurred earlier this week in our restaurant, here in Delaware City. It is unfortunate that some of the public are not familiar with federal regulations regarding service animals, which, in fact, do permit service animals into establishments such as grocery stores, public buildings and restaurants, giving aid and comfort to their masters in their time of need. That being said, we would like to take what may have been perceived as a negative incident and turn this into a positive opportunity, by educating and enlightening the public about the role of service animals and how they help and serve many returning veterans who have suffered serious wounds and injuries, as well as those veterans suffering from PTSD. So, at this time, we would like to announce that we will be sponsoring a fundraising effort for veterans and service animals thru the Montana Wounded Warriors. We would like to enlist your help as a sponsor, volunteer, or as a donor and help us enlighten and educate the public as well as to help those veterans in need. Details need to be finalized at this time, but as they come together, we will make additional announcements to keep you apprised of our progress.”