by Doug Brown
A veteran with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder is suing the city of Lakewood and the animal warden after two ordeals and a court case last year for not muzzling and leashing his service dog, a pit bull, at the city's dog park.
According to the lawsuit, Fairview Park-resident Patrick Boyd brought his pit bull to the Lakewood dog park last May, which caught the attention of animal warden Jack Crawford because it was unmuzzled and unleashed as non-service pit bulls are required to be in the city (Lakewood is not pit bull-friendly). But Boyd's dog was a service dog and he gave a card to Crawford stating it was compliant to the Americans with Disabilities Act.
After Boyd left the park, it says he called a Lakewood police lieutenant "in an effort to advise the City that as a service animal, his dog was exempt from the dog park's breed-specific muzzle and leash rules." But the lieutenant argued that the ADA only applies if he's in a restaurant and that "you have no right to have your dog in my city," it says.
He was summoned to the Lakewood Municipal Court on charges of "dogs and others at large" and "Park restriction," court records show, and he had a trial in October. A judge ruled that the ADA allowed him to have his dog at the park unmuzzled and unleashed, and he was found not guilty.
In November, it says Crawford ordered him to leash and muzzle the dog, despite the judge's ruling he was allowed to do so.
Boyd and his lawyer are suing in federal court on counts of discrimination based on disability, violation of the rehabilitation act, violation of the Ohio Civil Rights Act, malicious prosecution, and intentional infliction of emotional distress.
Read the suit here: