A BLIND tourist has been thrown out of a supermarket as staff feared his guide dog would ‘eat the food’.
Ex-policeman Stephen Joiner, 63, was outraged when employees at the shop in Fuengirola insisted he take his working pet Jodie outside.
The Brit, who has been visiting the Costa del Sol for 15 years, was holding a white stick, while his dog had official dog flashes and collar.
But this didn’t stop staff and even the manager at Prossima supermarket from insisting he left.
“It really spoilt my holiday,” he told the Olive Press. “I was so shocked and shaken by the whole experience that I needed to sit down outside before I felt confident enough to move on.”
Joiner, who has had glaucoma for eight years, was shopping with his wife Julia, who works in security at Liverpool airport.
“I clearly had my white stick and Jodie was wearing her guide dog flashes,” he explained.
They had only been in the shop for a few minutes when a checkout girl came over and told him he had to take his five-year old Labrador outside.
When he insisted she was an official guide dog, the employee replied: ‘You have your wife with you, you don’t need a guide dog.’
The manager was then called and asked them both to leave the shop, much to his outrage.
When questioned, he said he was ‘worried’ that the dog would try and eat the food in the shop.
“He was very agitated, raising his voice and coming across as quite threatening,” said the ex-Merseyside Police detective.
“He was all the time on his phone, following us trying to edge us out.”
The pair, who have been spending their holiday for the last 15 years at Las Palmeras hotel, debated about calling in police to make an official complaint.
When the Olive Press contacted the shop for a response, we were told they had, in fact, been allowed to shop.
“A shop assistant simply told him to wait in a designated area before going to ask her superiors for permission,” claimed the employee. “But he carried on regardless.”