Outrage after blind man and service dog kicked out of restaurant: “I’m speechless”

A service dog can be a lifesaver for people with disabilities, especially people who are blind. These smart dogs are specially trained to help vision-impaired people navigate the world, acting as their eyes.

But recently, one blind man was left stunned when he and his service dog were denied entry at a restaurant, after a worker accused him of faking his disability.

Paul Castle, from Seattle, is blind, but thankfully has a service dog named Mr. Maple to help him get around.

His popular TikTok account, @matthewandpaul, has many videos detailing his life as a blind person in a lighthearted style. These include many videos showing Mr. Maple in action, showing the dog’s ability to navigate Paul in any circumstances.


When you realize your guide dog is better at navigating than your husband 😂 #dog #guidedog #blind #servicedog #dogtok #amazingdog #retinitispigmentosa

♬ original sound – Matthew and Paul

While most of Paul’s videos are light and humorous, one recent video took a more dramatic tone as he revealed he had been kicked out of a restaurant.

“I’m blind and I just got kicked out of a restaurant in Seattle,” he tells his audience, explaining that after entering the establishment with Mr. Maple, an employee came up to him and said “no pets, only service dogs.”

The employee skeptically asked of Mr. Maple was an “emotional support dog,” even though Mr. Maple was in a harness that read “Guide Dogs for the Blind.”

When Paul stressed that he was blind, the employee told him, “you don’t look blind,” and said he was looking right at him. Paul explained that most blind people have some functional vision, but he only has a “pinhole of vision.”

The employee was unmoved, saying “This isn’t my first rodeo” and continuing to doubt him. When Paul offered to come back with the dog’s paperwork, the employee threatened to call the police if he returned.

“I’m speechless,” Paul concluded.

The story outraged many people, including Paul’s fans, disability advocates and dog lovers in general. Many commenters wrote that the employee was violating the law by denying him entry and casting doubt on his blindness.

“That is illegal. They’re only allowed to ask you two questions. Is this a service dog? And what services is your dog train to perform? Those are the only questions that they are legally allowed to ask,” one comment reads.

Many urged him to name the restaurant so they can take action and protest, but he did not name the establishment. However, he settled the manner in his own way.

In a follow-up video, he said he met with the restaurant’s manager (the employee from the first altercation was not present). Paul told him he did not want to press charges or even get the employee fired, but rather to just get people to “understand the spectrum of blindness,” and “the importance of (real) service animals.”

Paul learned that the employee had recently had a negative experience with an untrained service dog in the restaurant, and didn’t believe he was really blind because he was able to sustain eye contact.

“I think most people want things to be black or white,” Paul said. “If you have a disability, they want it to be the version they’ve seen represented in movies and TV for many years, whereas 93% of people who are blind have some functional vision. This guy had no clue about that.”

Paul says he received an apology from the employee as well as a generous gift card to the restaurant. He says he just wanted the restaurant to learn a lesson from all of this and believes they have.


Replying to @Milk Minute Podcast thanks for having my back!! #blind #storytime #guidedog #servicedog

♬ original sound – Matthew and Paul

But this is hardly a one-time incident. Many blind people, and people who rely on service dogs, frequently face this kind of discrimination and skepticism.

“I’ve had Uber drivers just drive away as soon as they saw my dog. So, it all speaks to a bigger issue,” Paul told KIRO. “But it’s not about so much reprimanding people as educating them.”

It’s outrageous that this blind man was kicked out of a restaurant, but we’re glad he eventually received an apology. People need to be more understanding towards people with disabilities and their use of service dogs.

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