War vet booted from Wildwood boardwalk over service dog

August 12, 2013 3:43:03 PM PDT
A wounded U.S. war veteran and his wife could not believe what they faced when visiting Wildwood, New Jersey, issuing him a ticket for having a service dog on the boardwalk.

The wounded war veteran says he was kicked off the boards and issued a summons all over his service dog named "Navigator."

"They said that my dog wasn't a Seeing Eye dog and that only Seeing Eye dogs are allowed on the boardwalk," Jared Goering said.

Goering and his wife are visiting from Tampa and they were on their way to dinner Thursday night when they were stopped by police on the North Wildwood boardwalk.

Both tried explaining that the dog, called "Gator" for short, is covered under the Americans with Disabilities Act, which allows Gator to go everywhere Jared goes.

"The officer we were talking to didn't want to hear any of it. He just wanted us off the boardwalk," Jared said.

"Then he went on to say that what do they do give every vet a dog now? He has a vest on him. He has a leash, and that's all that's necessary. He does carry an ID, which (Jared) did give to the officer, and the officer gave it back and said that doesn't mean anything to me," Sally Goering said.

Jared retired from military service after 19 years due to injuries during multiple tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan.

He has a traumatic brain injury from two IEDs and problems with mobility. Three-year-old gator helps him walk and go up and down stairs.

"I respect cops, I respect what they do. I know they don't have an easy job. But my job for 20 years was to defend the country. I got shot at on a daily basis and then blown up. You know? Yeah, it hurts," Jared said.

Wildwood's police chief says he's looked into this matter and there is more to it, but declined further comment. The summons has been dismissed.

Information from WFTS in Tampa.