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Blind teen asked to leave bakery because of her service dog - Cleveland 19 News|Cleveland, OH

Posted: Oct 27, 2015 4:04 PM EDT
Updated: Oct 28, 2015 5:39 AM EDT
By Jen Picciano
Posted by Cleveland 19 Digital Team

Gabriella Drago was asked to leave a Berea bakery because of her service dog (Source: WOIO)

BEREA, OH (WOIO) - Messages of outrage and disappointment flooded social media after a blind college student was kicked out of a Berea because she had her guide dog with her.

Dick's Bakery on Front Street is a favorite spot among students at Baldwin Wallace, including 19-year-old Gabriella Drago.

But what happened this week when she and a friend went in for a donut left a terrible taste in her mouth.

"I walked in and they said that there were no dogs. So I explained to the woman that Freesia was a service dog. So she was allowed in there. She said no, this is a bakery, you cannot have your dog," Drago said.

She said even after she told the clerk she was blind and it was illegal to kick her out, the woman persisted.

"Both of us were beyond words at that point, appalled and shocked," said Courtney Popp, a friend who witnessed everything.

"She did call me later to apologize. And said that I didn't look blind. So I'm not sure how I was supposed to look," Drago said.

Drago said she does not think this was a case of intolerance, but one of ignorance that lead to the encounter.

She said she does not want to drive Dick's out of business, but teach other businesses like it about the Americans with Disabilities Act and how people like her deserve to be treated.

"I think it should be brought to light that things like this are happening and they should not be happening," Drago said.

The owner of Dick's released this statement:

"A long time employee made a serious mistake not allowing a girl in the bakery with her dog. We deeply apologize for this poor judgment. We truly respect all of our customers and assure you this will never happen again."

Ownership says the employee in question, no longer works at Dick's Bakery.

W.A.G.S. 4 Kids plans to print stickers to help businesses become more aware of people with disabilities and their service animals.

Source: Blind teen asked to leave bakery because of her service dog

Copyright 2015 WOIO. All rights reserved.

Read now on Cleveland19.com

Updated: Tuesday, October 20 2015 7:06 PM EDT2015-10-20 23:06:35 GMT

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