Service dog drama leads to veteran’s arrest

Published: Updated:

BONITA SPRINGS, Fla.- A war veteran was arrested after he snuck his service dog into a hotel.

The Best Western hotel asked the man and his family to leave because he couldn’t control the dog. The hotel manager says they respect veterans and the ADA laws, but the soldier says his family was put on the street in the middle of the night.

Sgt. Jason White suffers from a traumatic brain injury after serving in Iraq and Afghanistan. He was arrested after a dispute involving his service dog, but he was the one who called 911.

“They didn’t want to work with us at all, that’s why I called the police,” said White.

Hotel staff says guests were complaining about a barking dog.

White had his wife check into the hotel, but did not tell staff about the dog.

“We were informed that it’s a service dog, so we said okay, we need to get the dog under control because of the complaints we are getting,” said Best Western manager Vinnie Patel.

White says while in the hotel room, Camo swallowed something that made him sick. That’s when White went down to talk to the staff and they found out about the dog.

White says he tried prove Camo is service dog but hotel didn’t believe him.

“I showed him the card,” said White “and he just said ‘this isn’t acceptable’ and he gave it right back to me,” said White.

White says he became unglued and admits to pushing the manager.

“They’ve got two TVs that look like fish tanks,” said White, “and I kicked one of them.”

“It was actually more of the guest than the dog that was more aggressive towards us,” said Patel.

White is facing charges of battery and damage of property. His attorney is filing an ADA complaint against the hotel.

The Best Western Bonita Springs Hotel & Suites released a statement, reading in part:

The dog was not under control. It was disruptive to our guests, resulting in a fundamental alteration to the nature of our business (providing quiet accommodations to all guests). From the point of our initial conversation with the guest, the situation and decisions made by the hotel were more about the guest’s overly aggressive behavior when we first asked him to control the dog, rather than the issue of the service animal itself. This same combative and property-destructive behavior displayed in front of police officers led to his eventual arrest.

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