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Wawa Reaches Settlement With Millville Military Vet Denied Access Due To Service Dog

Wawa Store. (File photo)

Wawa Store. (File photo)

MILLVILLE, NJ (CBS) – Wawa, Inc. has agreed to pay a Cumberland County man a settlement of $12,500 over an incident concerning a service dog that happened back in June.

Thirty-three-year old Patrick Stark, of Millville, is a military veteran who has suffered seizures since sustaining a brain injury when after being mugged. He goes everywhere with his medical dog, Copenhagen, who alerts him when the seizures are coming, which has saved his life.

Back on June 13, Stark entered the Main Street Wawa in Millville around the corner from his home to get a sandwich. He says the employees in the store started questioning him about the dog immediately. They didn’t think Copenhagen was leashed properly and weren’t sure he was a service dog.

Stark said he’s visited the store numerous times before and had made them aware of his disability, but that he didn’t recognize any of the employees working that night.

“I tried to reassure them it was service dog and the customers joined in with the yelling. Then I asked who was in charge, and I [said I] would show them all the paper work she would want.”

Stark says he showed the manager his papers but was still asked to leave. The police were also called.

In addition to paying Stark the $12,500, Wawa also released a statement that says it will post signs in its New Jersey stores advising that service dogs are welcome and that the company will train its employees in New Jersey regarding laws pertaining to service animals, as well as company policy welcoming them.

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