COBB COUNTY, Ga. - Special needs parents joined a group of civil rights activists outside a Chuck E. Cheese in Smyrna this weekend.
The NAACP organized the rally after a father claimed he and his 9-year-old special needs daughter were mistreated by employees when he tried to take her to the restroom back in May.
Mark Eschoe said his daughter, Marley, was excited to attend a friend’s party at the restaurant located at Cumberland Boulevard. She had just gotten out of the hospital after suffering two strokes within six months, caused by brain aneurisms.
“We were there for about 20 minutes when she finally said, ‘Hey Daddy, I have to go to the bathroom,’” Eschoe said.
Eschoe said the men’s room was full, but a waitress told him the women’s room was empty. He said as he started to take Marley into the women's room, a manager stepped in, became agitated and said, “No.”
“She just went, ‘You know what? I'm done. I'm not going to inconvenience my patrons. I don't care if she's special needs. I'm not going to treat her any differently,’” Eschoe said.
Eschoe and his wife, who was not there, said not providing an alternative for their daughter, violates the American’s with Disabilities Act.
An emailed statement from the Chuck E. Cheese corporate office in Texas said the women's restroom was occupied and employees were working on an alternative solution. The statement sent to Channel 2 Action News back in May also said the company has tried to contact the family, but the attempts have been unsuccessful.
Chuck E. Cheese later added surveillance video showed a woman entering the restroom before the incident, disproving the allegations.