Marine Garrett Carnes lost his legs in the Afghanistan war and for that, he was taunted and forced to leave a local South Carolina restaurant. Now the owner of the restaurant has said he wants to "somehow make it right by them."
Carnes and his family, including his wife and parents, and friends, wanted to eat at the Moosehead Grill after a football game between the Dallas Cowboys and South Carolina Panthers. Many, including Carnes, were wearing Cowboys jerseys after their victory over the Panthers.
According to Brett Coburn, as the group approached the restaurant, "Courtney was the first one out of the vehicle, and while she was getting Garrett's wheelchair, one guy immediately started yelling at her," he told The Charlotte Observer.
The group proceeded to enter the restaurant, where there were more taunts, including one directed specifically at Garrett. "Don't use your wheelchair as a crutch," one diner said.
Even after Garrett explained that he was a veteran of the war and was undergoing treatment for his amputations, the taunts continued. Witnesses told the press that the group nearly came to blows with one diner who "approached Garrett in a threatening manner."
Eventually, Garrett and his guests were asked to leave the restaurant in order to maintain the peace. Both sides now admit that the situation "got out of control."
Owner Chris Neilsen was not around to witness the ordeal and arrived only after Garrett had been asked to leave. "I didn't want them to leave, but I understand why they left. I'm miserable. My heart hurts for them," he told the Observer.
He has been in touch with the Carnes family and intends to "somehow make it right by them."
As for Garrett's family, they are still fuming over the incident. His mother, Rhonda, posted a note on Facebook asking why no one stood up for her son and daughter. "And to think my son almost died for every single person in that bar, by defending all your freedom," she noted.