MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) – A 28-year-old manager of a gentleman's club has been arrested after allegedly refusing service to a man with a service dog early Saturday morning.
According to a police report, officers met with the 24-year-old victim around 1 a.m. who told police he and his service animal were not allowed inside the Penthouse Club, located at 716 Seaboard St.
The victim further stated he was injured while serving in the military and was paralyzed from the waist down for some time. He said while he could now walk, he needed a service animal to retrieve things because he couldn't bend over to pick them up.
Saturday morning, the victim said he and another person tried to enter the club and were stopped by security. At that time, the manager of the Penthouse Club, Kenny Arthur Frosch, of Myrtle Beach was called into the lobby.
Frosch allegedly told the victim he couldn't enter the club with his dog, at which time the victim informed Frosch he was required by law to let the victim and his dog in.
"The law states that any place the public is allowed to come into, that service animal is allowed to come in as well," says Captain David Knipes with the Myrtle Beach Police Department.
According to the police report, Frosch told the victim the Penthouse Club was a privately owned business, and he could refuse service to anyone he wanted to. But police say that service cannot be refused solely for a disability.
"It could be a character issue where the person is unruly or intoxicated," says Capt. Knipes, "But we're referring to an ADA violation here."
The victim told police he didn't want to argue with Frosch, so he left the club and called the police.
When officers talked to Frosch, he allegedly admitted to refusing service to the victim. Warrants were requested for Frosch on a charge of interfering with rights of blind or disabled person.
Several other gentleman's clubs in the Grand Strand told WMBF that while they've never dealt with people bringing service animals into their establishment, they can see the bright lights, noise, and general distractions of the club causing issues for the animals. One club, however, disagrees.
"If it's a vested service animal and has credentials, you can't deny it," says David Birch, owner of Derriere's on Seaboard Street. "That's federal law."
Birch also says that his club has had an individual bring in a service animal, and they did not have an issue.
"The dog was fine. It was wearing the vest, and the guy had a leash over his shoulder. The dog was completely calm, it just sat there."