410bankstreet.com / Wheelchair discrimination
Discrimination of Handicapped Persons at the restaurant: 410 Bank Street Cape May, NJ. Manager refused to allow me to use the handicap ramp. I was forced to get out of wheelchair with oxygen tank or no service.
I have leukemia and underwent a bone marrow transplant. As a result of high dose chemo therapy and radiation, I now have lung issues. I am forced to use a wheelchair and oxygen to survive and attempt to live somewhat normal life. I can assure you that living this way is not my first choice.
I made a reservation for 7:15 pm on May 14, 2009 at the restaurant "410 Bank Street" located in Cape May, New Jersey. The restaurant was advertised as Handicapped Accessible. Upon arrival I had a problem with the manager Dortothy Garrabrant. While I waited outside, my wife informed Dorothy that I would need to use a ramp for my power chair. She immediately became enraged and quite loudly declared "NO! He can't come in. If it was a manual wheelchair I would say okay but not a power chair" Aside from my extreme embarrassment by her behavior I was quite disappointed in her total disregard for a disabled person. Clearly there was a handicap ramp but Dorothy felt it was her personal discretion if someone was worthy of using it. The Americans with Disability Act, Title III: Public Accommodations; would disagree with Dorothys self declared authority over such matters. The State of New Jersey has declared me disabled and I live on a modest Disability check. The NJ Motor Vehicle Commission has declared me disabled and provided me with a Disabled Placard when traveling by car. Medicare has declared me disabled and provided a motorized wheelchair. But Dorothy Garrabrant in her infinite wisdom has decided I should just get up and walk to avoid her from being inconvenienced by having a wheel chair in the restaurant dining area.
I asked my wife to pull me out of the chair. I leaned on my wife, with oxygen tank in tow and slowly struggled as I made my way to be seated. I finally sat down gasping for breath and took some time to recover from the ordeal. Now suffering from both physical and mental anguish, I tried to enjoy the rest of the evening.