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War Hero Sues KFC

They REFUSED to Serve Me

'Cause of My Service Dog

8/21/2013 11:00 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE

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An American war hero is suing the company behind Kentucky Fried Chicken ... claiming KFC  employees refused to serve him ... all because he arrived to the fast food joint with his registered service dog, this according to a new lawsuit obtained by TMZ.

The man behind the lawsuit is Charles Hernandez -- who describes himself as a "highly-decorated  and combat-disabled veteran of the Iraq war and a distinguished educator in the New York City school system."

There's more ... he was also New York City Council's Veteran of the Year in 2011 ... and was also "one of the first soldiers to arrive at the World Trade Center site" on September 11, 2001.

So, you'd think the guy would have no problems getting some fried chicken at his leisure, right?

Wrong, according to his new lawsuit filed in NYC.

Hernandez claims he walked into a KFC in NY back in February, along with his registered service dog Valor ... who accompanies Hernandez to soothe his symptoms of post-traumatic stress caused by years in combat.

But instead of being greeted with a smile and some chicken, Hernandez claims a KFC employee told him, "papi, there are no dogs allowed."

Hernandez says he explained that he had the proper permits to have the dog accompany him inside restaurants -- to which the employee replied, "ok, but you still cannot have the dog in the store."

Eventually, Hernandez left ... sans chicken ... and is now firing back with the lawsuit -- demanding at least $1,000,000 for his troubles.

God bless America.

An employee at the KFC restaurant where the incident took place tells us ... when Hernandez arrived with the dog, the animal was not wearing the proper service dog vest and identification.

However, in his lawsuit, Hernandez states -- "Valor wears a bright green vest and tags that clearly indicate that he is not a pet, but rather a highly trained service dog."

Sgt. Hernandez called into TMZ Live today to talk about the suit.

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263 COMMENTS

No Avatar
106.

amber yanes    

HOPE THIS OPENS PEOPLES MINDS TOO HOW BAD PEOPLE WHO FAUGHT AND ARE STILL FIGHTING FOR THIS COUNTRY GET TREATED HOPE THIS GUY WINS AND GETS MORE WELL DESERVED

436 days ago
107.

DeeMaree    

Service animals are animals that are individually trained to perform tasks for people with disabilities such as guiding people who are blind, alerting people who are deaf, pulling wheelchairs, alerting and protecting a person who is having a seizure, or performing other special tasks. Service animals are working animals, not pets.


Under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), businesses and organizations that serve the public must allow people with disabilities to bring their service animals into all areas of the facility where customers are normally allowed to go. This federal law applies to all businesses open to the public, including restaurants, hotels, taxis and shuttles, grocery and department stores, hospitals and medical offices, theaters, health clubs, parks, and zoos.

436 days ago
108.

Lydia    

Is having a dog in a food restaurant a health issue or not????????

436 days ago
109.

dirtyford    

Iv worked fast food and that dog is pry cleaner than some people who come threw those doors

436 days ago
110.

rob    

Sounds like a scam to get a pay off.

436 days ago
111.

pj    

They need to bring back sweet spicy wings and honey bbq. I haven't been to kfc since

436 days ago
112.

Biff    

If this was truly about the cause and not about money or sticking it to KFC, he would have carefully considered what kind of award he was seeking and chose an amount that would make people stop and listen to him rather than suspect his motive.

436 days ago
113.

Jessica    

He's not blind, why does he need a dog to escort him into KFC? Sounds like a quick buck.

436 days ago
114.

sandy    

Why is everyone so ready to SUE!!!!! Half of the country is walking around with a so-called Service Dog. Dogs are not allowed in places where food is served to the public. Stop making such a fuss and move on. A few years ago, I was staying in a motel with my little dog. I went to a donut shop a block away and someone from the shop came outside to stay with my dog while I ordered coffee & donut to go. You are a hero -- but, remember, no one knows you.

436 days ago
115.

Meanie    

POS crappy chicken. Used to taste good back in the 70s. Now it tastes like f'g fried worms. Sue their asses.

436 days ago
116.

LordGobblecock    

America has gone lawsuit crazy to the point of insanity. If the dog didnt have the right jacket then he's not coming in...end of. Even if he was allowed in he deserves a free voucher and apolgy at the MOST. Asking for a million is just an absolute joke and seriously greedy. he thinks being a war veteran will get him sympathy.

436 days ago
117.

Jim    

Many people who are apparently in the know, say there is a distinction between a "service" dog and a "comfort" dog, and the ADA does not cover a comfort dog. He tried suing McDonald's 2 years ago for $4 million and the case was tossed. Guess he decided to lower the amount this time around in hopes of winning.

436 days ago
118.

tucker    

That's not a service dog - that's a pet with a creative owner.

436 days ago
119.

Brady    

Ok some FACTS about service dog laws. Service dogs fall under federal law and are written into the ADA (americans with disabilities act) . The ADA states a service dog In 2010, the DOJ set new regulations for the ADA that pertain to service animals. Enactment of the new regulations began March 15, 2011. Title II and title III of the ADA recognize dogs as service animals, which the organization defines as working dogs that perform specific functions or tasks to help physically or mentally disabled people. Note, though, that the ADA does not recognize emotional-support service animals. A service animal must perform a function or task that is directly related to a need the disabled person requires assistance with. Some examples of functions or tasks service animals perform include guiding a visually disabled person, detecting seizures, reminding a disabled person to take medication and calming a person with post traumatic stress disorder.

A service dog is not required by law to wear any identifying vest nor is a handler required to show any do***entation proving the animal is a service animal, the business can ask two questions, Is your dog a service dog and what tasks does he perform for you. That it, cant ask what the disability is just the tasks.
Service dogs have saved Veterans lives and given them back the ability to integrate back into society . Asking a service dog handler to leave his dog outside a business is no different then asking a person in a wheel chair to leave it outside . A service animal must be kept well groomed and have impeccable behavior. You will never know a properly trained service dog is even there if you don't catch him walking in or out of a business.

436 days ago
120.

Susan    

Very easy to check if the dog had its required collar and vest on. Check the security camera video.

436 days ago
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