Security officers at the New York State Psychiatric Institute in Washington Heights barred Jaime Hazan from an appointment with his doctor when they spotted his companion, Bernie, a service dog.
Hazan explained that the 1-year-old Golden Doodle is a working service dog and said he felt “humiliated” when he was told that didn’t matter.
Hazan captured the incident on an iPhone video that lasted 27 minutes.
“You come to a hospital for health care and I’m being detained for being disabled,” Hazan says on the video.
It took four sympathetic NYPD cops called to the scene to resolve the situation and make clear that disability laws protect service dogs. But by that time, Hazan was too late for his appointment.
“Because of their total incompetence about the law, they took four men in blue off the street who could be protecting New York,” Hazan told The Post.
He believes the situation is particularly “egregious” since the state-run institute specializes in people with disabilities.
The video is disgusting. “Who else are they doing this to? Is it just me? That’s why I have to make a stink,” Hazan tells the NYPD cops on the vid.
The institute, which is contained in the Columbia University Medical Center, issued an apology when reached by The Post and pledged that the “unfortunate situation” would not happen again.
The institute’s policy “specifically states that service animals are welcome, in accordance with state law, federal law, and basic courtesy towards persons with disabilities,” the statement reads.
“NYSPI is distressed and perplexed that these employees failed to abide by this policy and will take immediate action to address this incident and to make sure that other visitors are not treated like this going forward.”
Hazan wants the two security officers fired and an investigation by Attorney General Eric Schneiderman.
“I don’t like doing this but I got to. I don’t like to be a complaining person. I hate being disabled. I can’t stand it. I was never that guy. It took me a long time to get comfortable with the fact that I’m not my old self.”
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