Wheelchair basketball star carried out of pub after being told ‘you can stay, if you can stand’
A young wheelchair user was carried out of a pub by bouncers he claims he was told: ‘you can stay if you can stand’.
Troy Hitchens, 20, was enjoying a Saturday evening out in Birmingham when he claims managers told him he was no longer welcome as he posed a health and safety risk.
After Troy, a wheelchair basketball player who has cerebral palsy, said he couldn’t stand, a doorman and a staff member from The Kings Head carried him down two flights of stairs to the empty downstairs bar where they waited for a taxi.
Troy, from Aston, Birmingham, said: “It was just so embarrassing and insulting.
“It’s the 21st century – they wouldn’t they have said to a blind person, ‘you can stay if you can see’.
“Why do they think it’s acceptable to treat disabled people like this?”
Troy, who doesn’t drink, had arrived at the pub in Harborne on Saturday evening with a group of friends, hoping to go upstairs to the live music venue.
The lift was broken so his friends helped him up the stairs.
But Troy claims that a manager later arrived to say that his wheelchair was a safety risk and that Troy couldn’t stay unless he was able to stand.
When Troy explained that he wasn’t able to, and can only stand for a short time with the help of crutches, he claims the management told him they had no choice but to carry him out.
A friend snapped a picture of him as they were carrying him down to wait for a taxi in the empty downstairs bar.
Troy who plays for Birmingham Black Cats basketball team said he was embarrassed and worried that people would think he had caused trouble.
The moment was captured by one of his friends on a mobile phone camera.
After receiving a complaint from a relative, the pub was quick to apologise issue on its Facebook site.
In the statement, general manager Richard Perry stressed the action was taken in the best interests of Troy and his party.
He also pointed out the group were informed they could use the ground floor bar and did.
The statement reads: “As per the Equality Act 2010, we have adhered to all factors including access to and the use of any place which members of the public are permitted to enter by installing a lift during the original refurbishment in 2008.
“Once the duty manager was made aware of the situation, he then acted in accordance with a risk assessment that was carried out after the lift for the disabled was deemed unusable.
“This risk assessment concluded that whilst the lift was out of use, we would not be able to provide access to the first floor Attic for those unable to access it by their own means.
“After discussions, it was agreed between the Duty Manager, the disabled gentlemen and his party that the door supervisors would carry the disabled gentlemen back downstairs at their own risk.
“There was no safe alternative method for any wheelchair bound person to gain access until repairs had been made.
“We are deeply sorry for any confusion caused and we aim to ensure all affected parties involved in this matter are treated with the upmost decency.”
Troy and his family want a personal apology said: “I felt really embarrassed when door staff carried me down the stairs – everyone was watching me.
“It’s not unusual for people to say I can’t do things but I’m a really independent person and I don’t let my wheelchair hold me back.
“When it all happened I just couldn’t believe it.
“I didn’t argue when they said I could stay if I could stand because I’m not an argumentative person.
“They’ve apologised on Facebook but really all I’d like is a personal apology.
“I’d just like to know that they’ve learnt their lesson and won’t treat anyone else like this.
“It was the first time I’ve been in the pub, but I won’t go back.”
Mum Zakalin Sloly, 41, who works as a photographer as well as being a carer for Troy, said: “When I saw the picture of Troy being carried down the stairs – I could tell he was absolutely mortified.
“It’s so sad – he’s such a confident independent person and this has really affected him.”