A Georgia family says they felt “singled out” and embarrassed after a mall security guard asked them to leave the children’s play area recently because the guard said their son’s wheelchair posed a safety hazard.
Isaiah Tate, 5, is disabled and nonverbal. His mother, April, said he likes sitting close to the children’s play area inside the Mall of Georgia in Atlanta.
“He laughs and giggles and he's so animated. You can tell that he really enjoys being there,” Tate told ABC affiliate WSB of the incident on Friday.
However, on their most recent trip to the mall, a security guard told them they had to leave -- an interaction that Isiah’s father caught on his cellphone.
The Mall of Georgia, located northeast of Atlanta, said it was a big misunderstanding and have since apologized to Isaiah’s family.
"Mall of Georgia welcomes all shoppers, including those with disabilities, to enjoy our center and our children’s play area,” the mall’s management said in a statement. “We have connected with Isaiah’s mother to rectify the unfortunate and unacceptable misunderstanding, and are addressing this with our mall team and Allied Barton, our security provider, to ensure this does not occur in the future."
Tate told ABC News that despite the mall’s apology, they are in the process of seeking an advocate to make sure incidents like this don’t happen again.