Business apologizes for treatment of disabled veteran over face mask
An American hero and disabled veteran said he couldn't believe he was asked to leave a credit union for not wearing a mask. Retired Master Sgt. Israel Del Toro cannot wear one because of his injuries. After 11 News reached out to the ENT Credit Union, they said they were embarrassed, disappointed and apologized for how he was treated.
Del Toro said he hopes businesses realize, even though they might be concerned about COVID-19, they cannot discriminate against people with disabilities.
"I felt almost defeated, because I can't believe this is really happening. Do people not have common sense anymore," said Del Toro.
He visited his local ENT branch Monday in Falcon but was told he couldn't come in because he wasn't wearing a mask.
"Not only can I not wear the ones around the ear because I don't have ears, but due to my medical condition I can't breathe [with one]," he said.
In 2005 Del Toro's humvee hit a roadside bomb while he was serving in Afghanistan. 80% of his body was burned.
After explaining his disability to the employee, she reportedly insisted he couldn't come in and instead should use the drive-through.
"I have such a hard time trying to grab that thing and usually end up dropping them, the canisters, obviously because I don't have- I'm missing fingers," he said he explained to her.
Del Toro said this wasn't the first time he's had this same issue at a business since Governor Jared Polis announced a new executive order in a news conference two weeks ago.
In his announcement Polis explained that any business would have the right to refuse service to anyone not wearing a mask if the business chose to do so. What Polis did not say specifically at the news conference, but did include in the
, was that the businesses needed to also comply with laws protecting people with disabilities.
ENT released a statement about the incident: