Saturday, February 16, 2008

Hung jury in guide dog trial

*CORRECTION* Thanks to Don Hert for calling my attention to several errors in my original post. My apologies; please see below for corrected version:

This tidbit gleened from a story by Rodney Hart, staff writer at the Herald-Whig:

A jury in a rural Illinois town couldn't decide this past week whether to hold a restaurant owner and her son accountable for refusing to accommodate a blind man and his guide dog. The Adam's County State's Attorney pressed charges under the Illinois Guide Dog Access Act against Jenny and Gus Papazoglou following their refusal to allow Don Hert's guide dog, Arlie, in the Greek To Me Restaurant.

At trial, Hert testified he was upset at the refusal and tried to show his guide dog credentials, but the Papazoglous wouldn't look at them. Apparently, the restaurateurs admitted they didn't know what the law was, but that Hert became irate and threatened to sue them "at least five times." According to Gus, the decision not to let Arlie in "had nothing to do with being blind or the dog anymore... it has to do with the way he behaved." Apparently, even the local police officer didn't know the law. He told Hert to go outside until he figured out what to do, went back to the station to do some research and then returned to the restaurant some three hours later to issue citations.

To read more about this story, try clicking here, although no promises. The Herald-Whig apparently does not make their archived stories accessible without a subscription, so this is just a link to a cached google page. If that doesn't work, here is the writer's contact info: rhart@whig.com

1 comment:

ddlmh1950 said...

Since this entry is about me I thought I might correct some incorrect statements. I did not sue anyone. This is a criminal case that is being pursued by the Adams County States's Attorney. The two have been charged with violating the Illinois Dog Guide Access act. A new trial date has been set for the week of April 14t and they have also now been charged with violating the Illinois White Cane law on top of the original charge. So ADA has nothing to do with this case and I have not filed any law suits.