. - MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - A Myrtle Beach motel owner is facing charges after police said he refused to let a woman rent a room because of her service animal.
The victim, who told police she was in town for her father's funeral, reportedly booked a room at the Calypso Inn on Flagg Street.
When she got to town Wednesday and tried to check in, she was told she couldn't stay there with her service dog because the Calypso doesn't allow big dogs.
The report from the Myrtle Beach Police Department said even after the victim showed Yehuda Sadeh her dog's service papers, he argued and was irate.
So she called police.
When the officer got on scene and talked with Sadeh, who is listed on the police report as the owner of Calypso, he said his inn has a policy prohibiting large dogs.
The officer told Sadeh that, by state law, he was required to give the woman and her service dog a room.
According to state law, anyone disabled or handicapped has a right to a service dog and they are entitled to equal accommodations, including hotels and lodging. Portions of that ordinance are below:
(b) The blind, the visually handicapped, and the otherwise physically disabled are entitled to full and equal accommodations, advantages, facilities, and privileges of all common carriers, airplanes, motor vehicles, railroad trains, motor buses, street cars, boats or any other public conveyances or modes of transportation, hotels, lodging places, places of public accommodation, amusement or resort, and other places to which the general public is invited, subject only to the conditions and limitations established by law and applicable alike to all persons;
(c) Every handicapped person has the right to be accompanied by an assistance dog, especially trained for the purpose, in any of the places listed in item (b) of this section without being required to pay an extra charge for the assistance dog. Each handicapped person is liable for any damage done to the premises or facilities by the dog.
(d) Every person who is a trainer of an assistance or guide dog, while engaged in the training of an assistance or guide dog, has the same rights and privileges with respect to access to public facilities and accommodations as blind and disabled persons, including the right to be accompanied by an assistance or guide dog or assistance or guide dog in training, in any of the places listed in item (b) of this section without being required to pay an extra charge for the assistance dog. A person who uses premises or facilities accommodations accompanied by a dog under the authority of this item is liable for any damage done to the premises or facilities by the dog.
Those charged with breaking the law could face a fine and up to three years in prison.
People who work at the hotel across the street don't agree with what Sadeh did.
"I don't feel it's acceptable," said Plazent Cunningham, who works at Bar Harbor.
The police report said Sadeh continued to argue with officers and refused to allow the woman and her dog to stay there. Officers then left to get a warrant before returning on Thursday to arrest him.
Sadeh is facing a charge of obstructing the use of a service animal.