Just a Little Context
I'm a 35-year-old father of two boys.
I have PTSD due to my time overseas and have the physical scars to match the mental scars.
I have an incredible wife that knows me and knows what situations I should avoid.
My children are amazing, but this story revolves around my youngest son and my service dog.
“J,” my youngest son, has autism.
We share a special bond because some things that set him off also put my teeth on edge.
Spike is my English Bulldog, and he's my service dog.
He's well-trained, lazy, judgmental, and overall uninterested in anything he can't eat.
Spike's also very in-tune to J and my emotions and will provide a distraction when we get overwhelmed.
Basically, he's like "Oh you're stressed? Here. Scratch my butt, you'll feel better and I'll get attention, it's a win-win.”
Well, my family recently moved to Texas.
Because we now live very close to an amusement park, we got memberships.
This particular park in Arlington Texas has a special program for autistic people.
They have rooms set aside to chill at if you're overstimulated so you can relax.
Then, you can go back out. If you get over stimulated again, you can go back in.
Around and round you go.
Just wanted to give a little shout out to the amusement park since this is a great service.
Onto the Story of the Entitled Woman...
With J, we also don't have to wait in lines.
This is a huge thing, and the cause of this story.
It seems like some people just can’t understand others need a little help.
The park has a pass that lets you skip most of the lines.
Sure, they charge an arm and a leg for this, but the pass is one of the best parts of the amusement park.
However, with that pass, you still end up in a line of the hundreds of people that also have that pass.
J gets no lines at all.
We get a special pass, and we go in through the exit.
The worker signs the pass, and we go on the ride.
J has a favorite ride – the log ride.
There have been days that we would ride the log ride over and over.
Then, we’d eat (we also have the food pass which we pay for) then go back to the log ride.
On this day T, my oldest, and J wanted to go on the log ride.
So, we made our way to the exit and left wife and Spike in the shade.
Someone has to stay with him. Bulldogs + rides don't mix.
So She Starts Screaming
As we were going in the exit a woman started screaming at us.
I have absolutely no hearing on my right side.
That’s thanks to a high-pressure wave.
There are all sorts of yelling at an amusement park, so…
I didn't consider it worth turning my head to listen.
Who pays attention to all the yelling at an amusement park?
It’s important to note that we ride this ride exclusively.
Because of that, the workers all know us by name and sight.
One of the best parts is that J even talks to them which is rare.
We go in, show the pass, sit and ride.
Like normal, except this isn’t one of those times that goes off without a hitch.
This time, there’s Tabitha.
I'll call her Tabitha because Karen is overused.
She was losing it. She was screaming at us as we were walking in through the out.
She made her way to where the speedy pass ends.
A worker is there in a red shirt to check her pass and let her go on her way.
That wasn’t what she wanted.
Tabitha didn't even want to ride.
She just wanted to yell about us going in through the exit.
Apparently, to her, we are abusing the system.
Now anyone that looks at J can see he's in a world all his own.
Things Start to Get Worse
The red shirt tries to calm Tabitha down.
Things aren’t going as planned, obviously.
Everyone is uncomfortable.
T is getting upset because he's a normal nine-year-old and adults yelling is uncool.
J starts making his excited sounds and waiting for the log to stop so he can get in.
We get in and as we float away we still hear Tabitha screaming.
The ride ends, and we exit.
We figured we would never see Tabitha again but obviously, it didn't go that way.
Tabitha appeared out of nowhere, hooting and screaming.
She is screaming that just because J is an “R-word” doesn't mean we get extra rights.
The screaming causes J to let out his super screech.
Now anyone that knows autism knows that autistic kids have superpowers.
In J's case, it's a supersonic ear-shattering high-pitched screech that makes your eyes swim.
It makes it feel like things in your head are moving that shouldn't.
Enter the Pooch
This whole time, Spike was laying on the ground.
He was doing the froggy position as bulldogs do.
He was just looking at Tabitha like she's a rabid dog but not worth getting up for.
As we are being screamed at, I see two officers approaching from behind Tabitha.
My smile must have broken Tabitha because she hauls off and kicks Spike.
This flips my switch because my family is literally under attack.
I start to react.
Before I could make contact, Tabitha is already in the air.
She’s held half-carried half-dragged away while being cuffed.
Now in front of me is a well-dressed and pissed-looking officer.
He tells us he heard the screech and started heading to it because they thought a ride broke or something bad happened.
I take the time to unflip that switch and examine Spike.
He's limping and crying.
I feel his hips and feel that his hip is dislocated.
The Police Arrive
The officer asked what happened.
We all explain what happened from a to z.
I explain how she started yelling at the employee and harassing us.
I also told the officer how she insulted J.
Finally, the part that caught his attention – Spike.
He asks if Spike is a service dog. I say yes.
He smiles, but I'm not in a smile mood.
The smile catches me off guard.
Turns out, the smile was a really good thing.
He explains that in Texas to intentionally injure a service dog is a felony.
By this time park security arrived.
The charges really start to pile up now.
Tabitha was issued a trespass order.
Then, the officers ask if I want to press charges.
Uh, duh. We're totally pressing charges.
I look at Spike and look back. “Yes,” I say.
Tabitha gets hauled off and gets loaded off into a golf cart.
Of course, her tiny mouse-like husband starts to freak out.
Maybe if he cared before and stopped the raging witch, this wouldn’t have happened.
Spike is Okay
We hop on a cart too and leave to go to the vet.
We wanted to get Spike checked out as soon as possible.
It turns out that he did have a dislocated hip.
Thankfully, the vet was awesome.
They fixed Spike and all is well.
Spike just needs to rest his hips.
That makes him pretty happy, so no complaints there.
We went back the next day with Spike in a stroller.
No one batted an eye.
Plus, everyone loves the bulldog in a stroller.
Gotta admit that it was picturesque.
I let people pet him.
Spike, of course, was a hoot.
Shout out to the park since it’s an amazing place.
I've been contacted by the investigating officer.
Because I pressed charges, I gave my depositions.
I may have to testify but I look forward to sitting on the bench with Spike on my lap.