LOUISVILLE, Ky. – A local family said they were humiliated after a manager of a Golden Corral restaurant confronted them about their son’s disability.
Tammy Bruner’s son was diagnosed with Tourette Syndrome not long after Bruner adopted him when he was 3-years-old. After an incident at the Clarksville Golden Corral, Bruner said she’s tired of people treating her son like he’s less of a person because of his disability.
Playing video games in the basement of his Henryville home, Jeremiah Bruner seems like a typical 9-year-old boy. He’s bright and outgoing, quick to laugh. But, watch him long enough and you’ll see it. The tics often associated with Tourette Syndrome.
A few weeks ago, the family was at the Golden Corral in Clarksville.
“Then, he had a vocal tic. Which was ‘ha’ or ‘hey,’” Tammy Bruner said.
It could sometimes be a little loud.
Customers complained about the noise and a manager named Mary confronted the family, first asking if Jeremiah was Autistic and telling them he needed to quiet down.
Bruner told the manager that Jeremiah could not control the tics.
“She said, ‘Well, I had to come over here and make it look like I’m doing something about it.’” Bruner recalled, “I was ashamed of her for doing this in front of a child.”
Bruner said she argued with the manager, asking what she expected them to do.
“She did not come out and say, ‘you have to leave right now,’ but, she insinuated, ‘You need to leave,’” Bruner said.
The manager refunded the Bruner’s money and the family left, with Jeremiah wondering why.
“The first question out of his mouth was, ‘Mommy, what did I do wrong,’” Tammy Bruner said.
The manager at the Golden Corral referred us to the corporate offices, which were closed for the weekend. She insisted that she did not ask the Bruners to leave that night.
Tammy Bruner says she’s currently speaking with lawyers about a discrimination case.