Disabled Marine veteran thrown out of Pittsburgh bar for bringing service dog

PITTSBURGH (KDKA/CNN) - A bar owner in Pittsburgh is apologizing after a disabled Marine veteran says he was refused service and kicked out of the bar for bringing his service dog.

Kris Jones, an ex-Marine who was wounded by a rocket-propelled grenade in Iraq in 2003, says he’s embarrassed and angered after he was thrown out of The Huddle, a bar in Pittsburgh, Thursday night.

Kris Jones, a Marine veteran who was wounded in Iraq in 2003, suffers from back, shoulder and head injuries in addition to post-traumatic stress disorder. His service dog, Chopper, helps him manage.
Kris Jones, a Marine veteran who was wounded in Iraq in 2003, suffers from back, shoulder and head injuries in addition to post-traumatic stress disorder. His service dog, Chopper, helps him manage. (Source: KDKA/CNN)

Jones suffers from back, shoulder and head injuries in addition to post-traumatic stress disorder, but he says his service dog Chopper has helped him manage.

“They force the veteran to get out of the home. I have to get out. This dog’s gonna make me get out of the house. He’s gonna make me interact with people,” Jones said.

But when he tried to enter The Huddle, just before kickoff for a Pittsburgh Steelers game, he was told he couldn’t bring in Chopper.

“I tried to show him my disabled military ID from the Marines and Chopper’s identification and what not, and he put his hands up and did not even want to look at it,” Jones said.

Bar owner Pete Wagner is apologizing for the incident. He says he didn’t realize Chopper was a service dog, and he made a bad judgment.

“I made a mistake as to the evaluation as to whether he was with a service dog,” Wagner said. “I just made a mistake. That’s all there is to it. I should have served him, and I did not.”

Wagner says he normally allows service dogs in the bar, and he’s embarrassed over the incident. He invited Jones to come back to The Huddle and have dinner on the house.

However, Jones says he never wants to go back to the bar.

“I was really upset, you know? I just wanted to cry, for a part. I haven’t slept all night. I’m just really angry,” he said.

Copyright 2019 KDKA, Kris Jones via CNN. All rights reserved.