Judge Rules on Trump Supporter Booted From NYC Bar

Greg Piatek's lawsuit gets dismissed
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 29, 2018 11:14 AM CDT
A supporter wears a "Make America Great Again" cap during a campaign stop for Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump at Exeter Town Hall in Exeter, N.H., Thursday, Feb. 4, 2016.   (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

(Newser) – A New York bar can apparently toss out a customer for wearing a "Make America Great Again" cap—which Greg Piatek found out the hard way, CNN reports. The Philadelphia man says he went to The Happiest Hour bar in the West Village last January and couldn't get served because of his hat. First a bartender ignored him; then he was told to take it off; and when he wouldn't, he and his friends were kicked out. The bar's owner says Piatek got booted for being "verbally abusive," but Piatek alleges that the bar manager told him, "I spoke directly to the owner and the owner told me that anyone who supports Trump or believes what you believe is not welcome here! And you need to leave right now because we won't serve you!"

So Piatek filed suit in Manhattan Supreme Court and said the encounter "offended his sense of being American," the New York Post reports. But when the bar's lawyer pointed out in Manhattan court Wednesday that only religious beliefs—not political ones—are protected under city and state law, Piatek lawyer Paul Liggieri said his client was in New York "paying spiritual tribute" at the 9/11 Memorial. "The Make American Great Again hat was part of his spiritual belief," Liggieri said. Liggieri eventually conceded that Piatek's spiritual group had only one member, and the judge dismissed the incident and a "petty" slight. Liggieri says his client may appeal.

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