NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — A Chesapeake man who uses a backpack for medical needs says he couldn’t bring it into a local nightclub.
The club owner says bags simply aren’t allowed in for safety reasons.
“I don’t go anywhere without it,” said Daniel Kling. “I carry it on me almost all the time.”
Kling always has his backpack. It’s not by choice, but out of necessity. The 20-year-old has type one diabetes. In the bag, everything he needs to function.
Kling says he never had any issues bringing the bag into places until Thursday night. Kling and some friends were going to the Banque in Norfolk, where he was told he couldn’t take the backpack into the nightclub.
“I responded ‘you know I need my backpack, because I have a disability,'” Kling added.
Club rules don’t allow backpacks. Owner Dennis Doughty says it’s a safety concern to other customers.
“The backpack could have weapons,” Doughty said. “It could have liquor. It could have something in there that he could consume, and we just don’t allow it.”
Doughty tells 10 On Your Side staff offered to keep Kling’s bag in a secure spot near the entrance and make sure he was seated close. Kling felt it was discrimination.
“I just want to be able to enjoy a normal night out, how I should as a 20-year-old, without what happened last night,” Kling added.
Kling posted his story on Facebook and hundreds of people responded. Many of them bashed the bar, which has been a staple for 45 years.
“It’s devastating and practically the point of tears,” Doughty added.
Doughty says he knows the struggle to live with diabetes. He was diagnosed at the age of 19.
“I wouldn’t discriminate on anybody,” Doughty said. “We have people coming in with one leg and we have people coming in with wheelchairs. We have it all. We have been through all of it and we accommodate everyone. It is our nature to do the best we can to accommodate everyone.”
Kling understands the club’s no bag rule, but would like to see exceptions.
“I don’t want this to happen to someone like me in the future,” Kling said.
Banque staff is hoping to soon sit down with Kling and talk through the differences. They believe it is important for both sides to be shared.