Earlier this year, a Centre County Disabled Veteran filed a Federal Suit claiming a State College area business refused to let his Service Dog into the store. Now, several months later, he’s encountering new frustrations.
Video shows Christopher Taylor of Bellefonte with his Service Dog Zeke. Taylor says Zeke is his life line, by his side almost constantly. What sparked the Federal Lawsuit happened in February. Taylor saying: “I was threatened with arrest for having my Service Dog in the Nittany Mall in a store.” Taylor says a Store Employee told him they didn’t have insurance coverage for dogs, and Zeke might trigger Customer’s allergies. A State College Police Officer was called and according to Court Documents, told Taylor the store has the right to exclude anybody, and he could be arrested for trespassing.
Taylor suffers from a Degenerative Joint Disease, an Army Combat Veteran of the Vietnam War. Taylor saying: “I was in a VA Hospital for two years being put back together. Its almost more than you can bear. I couldn’t get a job, couldn’t get hired. I got $14 a month to live on. I was homeless. No place to go. Somebody does this to me. Its just more than I can handle.”
Taylor filed a Civil Rights Federal Suit under the Americans with Disabilities Act, but after problems with his original Legal Counsel, he’s now looking for help. Taylor saying: “I also contacted at least twenty Attorneys in Centre County and out of County, and can not get any representation whatsoever.”
The last Court Filing in the case was last month. A Response from State College Borough, who was also sued due to the Police Officer involvement at the store. The Borough denying any wrongdoing on behalf of the Police, saying the Officer’s conversation with Taylor was recorded on her body camera.