RIVERSIDE, Calif. – A disabled woman said she was excited to try the new Scratch Handmade Pizza restaurant on La Sierra and Nebraska Avenues at the Five Points Plaza Shopping Center in the City of Riverside.
The woman who goes by the name of “Dorkies Jones” on Facebook said that most businesses in the area know her and know of her physical limitations. “I am an organ transplant patient on hospice with multiple sclerosis,” she explained in a Facebook post. “I didn’t think twice when I walked into our local pizza place we frequent to go to the restroom when a bathroom emergency came up.”
She said that she knew that the restroom was for customers only so she grabbed some cash and went to the counter. She waited as long as she was able to and no one came to the counter. She then headed to the back toward the restroom. As she went back she ran into an employee who she asked for the restroom code. The employee told her that the restroom was only for customers. Being fine with the requirement, she told her she would buy something and even leave $20 with her that she could apply to her order when she got out of the restroom. “She refused both the code and acceptance of the cash towards a purchase,” she said.
She then realized she would have to explain her medical situation in order to get the code for the restroom or to get the employee to ring her up. “I explained I generally do not have a problem waiting, however; I had a medical emergency and really needed to use the bathroom right now,” she said. “So if she could either give me the code or ring me up it would be greatly appreciated she looked annoyed and refused as though I was rushing her with some lame a** excuse.”
She said the time for her to get to the restroom was running out and she told her that she had a catheter that would overflow onto the ground. The employee replied that she would call the cops. Fortunately, there was no overflow and after waiting, the employee provided the restroom code. When she came out, the police were there. The police listened to the situation and left shortly after.
She asked the employee for an address or phone number to get in contact with the owner or corporate, but she said she would not supply that to her. She told her that the owner said that she could leave a Yelp review for their business. The employee then gave her a flyer. After leaving, she noticed that there was no contact information on the flyer.
She then returned to again attempt to get the contact information for the owner or corporate and the employees said that they would not provide that. Shortly after, a man named “Chris” who she said identified himself as the owner came to the restaurant.
According to “Dorkies Jones”, he said that her personal health issues are not his problem and he does not have to accommodate them or change policy to meet her health needs. He also said that he was not concerned with losing her business because he owned three other locations. “After threatening to have us arrested I decided to do a video blog for handicap access, on what had happened,” she said. “I stood on the public curb and began to make a video, she said. The owner came out and began to shout at us and tell us to leave the premises.”
As of Tuesday, June 18, 2019, at 1:30 a.m., the video has over 3700 views and several comments in support of the disabled woman.
The owner who identified himself as Steven Amlani said that the story was not true and the disabled woman and her family threatened him and his entire staff. He said that she not only came and harassed the staff but returned for further harassment. Several in the community asked what would be her motive for lying about the situation, but he only said that “people do”. “We are a local pizza place that is vandalized by homeless people on a regular basis,” said Steven Amlani on a Facebook post. “We put in keypads on the restroom doors to help prevent some of this. Clearly states restrooms are for customers only on all doors and the code available after a purchase.”
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