An Iraq War veteran is suing KFC because he says one of their NYC locations refused to serve him because he had a service dog with him. Sgt. Charles Hernandez, 50, says he visited the KFC located at 1 West Fordham Road in The Bronx on Feb. 26th, and an employee refused to take his order because of his dog Valor, who helps him cope with post-traumatic stress disorder, panic attacks and spinal-cord injuries related to three decades of service.
"I was frustrated, angry, and more depressed," Hernandez told the Post. "No one was helping. Rather than understanding the needs of a person, they shut me out. The dog has just as many rights as they do. He doesn't bark or bite unless he is threatened. He's my security blanket. He keeps me grounded."
In the suit, Hernandez claims that one employee “disrespectfully” referred to him repeatedly as “Papi,” saying “Papi, there is no dogs allowed.” When Hernandez argued that Valor had the right to be there with him under the Americans with Disabilities Act, the employee responded, “Ok, but still cannot have the dog in the store.”
Hernandez, who in addition to his army service spent three months helping retrieve bodies at Ground Zero after 9/11, says he's encountered problems like this before, but this was the first time he was pursuing legal action because “the more he tried to calmly explain the law to the workers, the more agitated they got.”
A KFC spokesman gave us this statement: “While we were not aware of the lawsuit, KFC Corporation is absolutely committed to abiding by all federal laws, including the ADA Act, and expects its franchisees to do the same.”