VIDEO: Mishawaka woman, service dog kicked out of 7-Eleven store
MISHAWAKA, Ind. — Cell phone video showed a shouting match between a customer and the owner of a 7-Eleven on East Catalpa Drive in Mishawaka on Wednesday.
Candace Mace, who was behind the camera, said she and her service dog Clea use went in the convenience store to buy a brisk tea and get change for five dollars. However, she said as soon as she walked in the owner said ‘no dogs.’
Mace said she told the owner that Clea was a service animal.
“So he says, ‘Oh she’s a service dog, for what,’” said Mace.
By law, there are only two things a person is legally allowed to ask someone with a service animal:
- Is the animal required because of a disability?
- What work or task has the animal been trained to perform?
Mace said she has had Clea for six weeks. She said people have questions about her condition, Clea, and Clea’s training.
Mace said usually she’s happy to explain that Clea helps warn her about potential seizures, caused by her epilepsy, but this time she regretted answering the owner.
“I regret it because he did make it like yeah he didn’t make it very good for me,” she said.
The owner and Mace called the police on Wednesday. According to the Mishawaka Police Department, officers escorted Mace to the bus station, which was her initial destination.
No arrests were made.
ABC 57 News went by the owner’s store location and home to get a comment on the incident. However, staff told ABC 57 News that the owner took a half day, so he was not at the store when our cameras showed up to ask question about Wednesday’s incident.
One man who was shopping at the store on Thursday said the owner owes Mace an apology.
“I think he owes her an apology,” he said. “And he owes anybody else that shops at this store an apology for the way he reacted to that customer.
Another man said he understands that the store is the owner’s property and that he has the right to say what he did in the video.
“But at the same time you have to look out for what’s best for your customers and people in general,” he said.
Mace shared the videos in a Facebook post on Wednesday night. She wrote that she was ‘insulted, belittled, and threatened,’ during the incident.
More than 1,000 people have share her message online. However, she said she just wants one message to reach the owner.
“Learn the two questions that you can ask those questions and move on you know what I’m saying,” she said.
ABC 57 News did reach out to 7-Eleven for a comment and to find out what their policy on service animals is. At the store on Catalpa Drive and another on Main Street, there is not a welcome sign for service animals.
However, there is signage stating ‘Service Animals are welcomed,’ at several other store locations in the area.