‘You are not disabled’: Ex US Marine kicked out of Romford Tesco because of his PTSD dog Rico
PUBLISHED: 07:00 13 October 2017
A former US Marine, who suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) after serving in Iraq, is “furious” after being kicked out of Tesco because of his assistance dog.
And Damien Greywolf, who fought in the first Gulf War, told the Recorder he was especially upset as two weeks after the altercation the supermaket giant had still not apologised to him.
The 51-year-old suffers from flashbacks and other side effects due to the anxiety disorder, and his assistance dog Rico accompanies him everywhere “keeping me safe and calm”.
The veteran decided to pop into Tesco in Mawney Road, on the way back to his Collier Row home, at around 8.30pm on September 24.
“I had just got into the store and the security guard storms up to me,” he explained.
“I said this is my registered assistance dog, he even has a blue coat on which says PTSD dog.”
The security guard let Mr Greywolf continue, but he only got halfway down the aisle to buy a big bottle of Dr Pepper when he was stopped again by Tesco staff.
“These two guys storm up to me and start yelling at me ‘you have to leave,” he explained.
“The thing that most upset me was that they were shouting: ‘You are not disabled.’
“I have a huge brace on my leg! I have a letter from Romford Police Station which says my PTSD dog is allowed to go everywhere I go.”
Mr Greywolf, who has lived in Firbank Road for five years, explained that Alsatian Rico calms him when his having flashbacks or getting anxious.
“I went to get my blue badge but they were just like ‘get out’,” he claimed.
The former Marine of eight years, who previously lived in Texas and Los Angeles, said he complained to Tesco the next day, but after two weeks with no reply contacted the Recorder.
After being approached by this paper, a spokeswoman for the supermarket said the store manager would like to invite Mr Greywolf back to the shop with Rico to discuss his concerns.
She said: “Everyone is welcome at Tesco and we’re sorry that our colleague suggested Mr Greywolf’s assistance dog was not allowed to come in to our store.”