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Marine amputee taunted at south Charlotte grill
WCNC-TV ^ | October 25, 2012 | Steve Lyttle, The Charlotte Observer

Posted on 10/26/2012 12:55:33 AM PDT by 2ndDivisionVet

The owner of a south Charlotte restaurant says he is “heartbroken” over an incident Sunday in which bantering between football fans got out of control, resulting in a U.S. Marine who lost both legs in Afghanistan being forced to leave the eatery with his wife, parents and friends.

Chris Neilsen, owner of the Moosehead Grill on Montford Drive, has been in contact with family members of Marine Garrett Carnes, of Mooresville, following the incident that Neilsen says “was awful.”

“I want to somehow make it right by them,” Neilsen says.

During a verbal altercation that some witnesses said almost came to blows, one patron allegedly told Carnes he was using his wheelchair “as an excuse.”

In an interview with The Observer, however, the fan said Carnes and members of his party were equally abusive. And he denied making a remark about the Marine’s wheelchair.

The incident happened after Carnes, his wife Courtney, their parents, and friends Brett and Nicole Coburn stopped at the restaurant for dinner after attending the Carolina Panthers’ game against Dallas. Several members of the party, including Garrett Carnes, were wearing Dallas Cowboys jerseys.

“Courtney was the first one out of the vehicle, and while she was getting Garrett’s wheelchair, one guy immediately started yelling at her,” said Brett Coburn, who described the man’s comments as “taunts.”

Coburn said that when the group reached the front door, the fan was waiting for them.

“He was standing at the door, and he started harassing us because of the Cowboys jerseys,” Coburn said.

He said the fan told Garrett Carnes, “Don’t use your wheelchair as a crutch.”

The fan, who did not want to give his name, gave a different account.

“Moosehead is a Panthers’ bar,” he said. “When they came, wearing the Cowboys’ jerseys, I started up on them. I asked them if they were Cowboys fans who lived in North Carolina.”

“I’m not going to fight someone in a wheelchair,” the fan said. “I said to him, ‘I’m not fighting you. Get four of your boys, and I’ll fight them.’ “

According to multiple accounts of the incident, Carnes told the patron – and others who were ridiculing the group for being Cowboys’ fans – that he was a veteran and had lost his legs in Afghanistan.

Members of the Carnes-Coburn party tried to “defend ourselves verbally,” Brett Coburn said.

“We were going back and forth,” the fan said. “Yes, it got out of control.”

The fan said one woman in the Carnes-Coburn party swore at him.

He said the fan walked toward Carnes in a threatening way, and some other patrons stepped in to break it up.

Neilsen said his employees are trained to separate possible combatants, in an effort to defuse such situations. On Sunday, staff members asked Garrett Carnes and his party to leave, while they took the fan to another area of the restaurant.

“It spiraled out of control,” Coburn says.

Courtney Carnes called police, but no charges were filed.

Neilsen said he arrived at the restaurant after the group had left and was in the parking lot, talking to police.

“I didn’t want them to leave,” he said of the Carnes-Coburn party, “but I understand why they left. I’m miserable. My heart hurts for them.”

He said the trouble was caused by people who “are not regulars” at the restaurant and added that the fan was not welcome to return.

Carnes, who is still undergoing treatment for his wounds at a Washington-area hospital, is trying to stay out of the dispute, Coburn said. Carnes’ mother, Rhonda, addressed a note to restaurant patrons on Facebook, saying, “Why didn’t any of you stand up for my son and daughter? And to think my son almost died for every single person in that bar, by defending all your freedom.”

The fan told the Observer, “He (Carnes) is a veteran, and I appreciate what he did for this country. But I don’t appreciate how abusive they were.”


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Military/Veterans; Sports
KEYWORDS: afghanistan; football; marines; northcarolina
So a stupid game is reason enough to taunt and harrass a veteran in a wheelchair? You're lucky I wasn't there Mr. Big Sports Fan.
1 posted on 10/26/2012 12:55:50 AM PDT by 2ndDivisionVet
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

I love sports and we have season tickets for two different sports for two different universities...but I can’t imagine getting this out of control over it...


2 posted on 10/26/2012 1:14:50 AM PDT by cherry
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

Hell, I am 73 and would be angry enough to kick some butt myself...have 2 son’s that served in Air Force and one in Navy, have a grandson in Air Force....ignorant jerks should be cold co-ked at the start of their insanity...


3 posted on 10/26/2012 1:14:57 AM PDT by goat granny (.)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet
A sign of the leadership of this nation, no respect for the sacrifice of others. despicable.
4 posted on 10/26/2012 1:16:38 AM PDT by exnavy (The time is upon us, fish or cut bait, may God guide your heart.)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

I thank God that I am not the sort that would do such a thing.

Bless our veterans... we owe them a debt that cannot be repaid.


5 posted on 10/26/2012 1:25:57 AM PDT by Bobalu (It is not obama we are fighting, it is the media.)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

The Moosehead Grill deserves to go out of business for making the Marine and his party leave.
Although their Facebook page has been taken down, you can find them on yelp.com. Their rating has tanked over the last three days.
As for the idiot who taunted the Marine, his picture and name are out there, too. It is not hard to find.


6 posted on 10/26/2012 1:32:59 AM PDT by PalmettoMason (South Carolinians need to start choosing a primary challenger to Nikki Haley NOW!!!!!!!)
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To: exnavy

No respect for others period.


7 posted on 10/26/2012 1:39:12 AM PDT by skr (May God confound the enemy)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

Don’t wear Cowboys jerseys to a Panthers bar. Duh.

I think it might be more humiliating for a disabled veteran to get a “free pass” than to get a little verbal abuse.

I have, and have had many family members in the military — two nephews and a niece currently, two have had multiple deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan. I know they would agree.


8 posted on 10/26/2012 1:40:49 AM PDT by Born to Conserve
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

There is no excuse for this behavior.


9 posted on 10/26/2012 1:55:05 AM PDT by Silentgypsy (If you love your freedom, thank a vet.)
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To: PalmettoMason
The Moosehead Grill deserves to go out of business for making the Marine and his party leave.

The owner seems like he is heartbroken over the incident. I am unsure if the owner even knew what the situation was. I am not sure if he deserves to go out of business. I do think that the entire family deserves free meals for the rest of the Marine’s life at that establishment.

10 posted on 10/26/2012 1:55:15 AM PDT by napscoordinator (GOP Candidate 2020 - "Bloomberg 2020 - We vote for whatever crap the GOP puts in front of us.")
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To: exnavy
It is all authority.

The me generation has no authority but ... me.

11 posted on 10/26/2012 2:02:58 AM PDT by knarf (I say things that are true ... I have no proof ... but they're true)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

Guys at a bar — probably drunk — getting into a nasty personal argument over a sports team? Sad to say it doesn’t surprise me.


12 posted on 10/26/2012 2:46:22 AM PDT by Opinionated Blowhard ("When the people find they can vote themselves money, that will herald the end of the republic.")
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To: 2ndDivisionVet
“He was standing at the door, and he started harassing us because of the Cowboys jerseys,” Coburn said.

In years gone by, that guy would have been wearing a sheet and a hood.

13 posted on 10/26/2012 2:48:09 AM PDT by Fresh Wind (If Obama is an empty chair, then Biden is the whoopee cushion.)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet
The fan told the Observer, “He (Carnes) is a veteran, and I appreciate what he did for this country. But I don’t appreciate how abusive they were.”

Dear fan,

1. it's a football team, not your mother.

2. F' you!

14 posted on 10/26/2012 3:02:25 AM PDT by hattend (Firearms and ammunition...the only growing industries under the Obama regime.)
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To: exnavy

I agree. An ex-Marine who gave up limbs to fight so that jackass in the bar could live in a great country and have many freedoms and opportunities he would never have elsewhere. What is wrong with kids nowadays? Wait. Don’t answer that. We already know the answer. They’re spoiled indoctrinated to hate their own country brats (not all; I see glimmers of hope from time to time)


15 posted on 10/26/2012 3:33:27 AM PDT by jsanders2001
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To: Born to Conserve
Don’t wear Cowboys jerseys to a Panthers bar. Duh.

I think it might be more humiliating for a disabled veteran to get a “free pass” than to get a little verbal abuse.


A lifelong Rams fan, I take a back seat to no one in my dislike of the Dallas Cowboys and the displays put on by some of its fans. In fact, on my favorite sports boards, I have the screnname name Cowboyhater.

But this is over the line, no matter how obnoxious he might have been in supporting his team. It's easy enough to attack the Cowboys, and even the behavior of the Cowboys' fans and sycophants without getting to a man's disability. Frankly, I expected this behavior from the Cowboys' fans, not the other side. I hope it was just the alcohol talking.

For the record, I have worn my Rams shirt to Viking bars and to a Super Bowl between the Steelers and the Cowboys (1995, depressing game; I didn't know that I was witnessing the sun setting on the Cowboy's win streak) with no issues. I also wore it to a Mexican restaurant IN Dallas at a friend's family get0together ... also with no issue.

Heck, if the guy wore a jersey from the Moscow Dynamo during the cold war, I wouldn't poke fun at his wheelchair.
16 posted on 10/26/2012 3:43:13 AM PDT by Dr. Sivana (There is no salvation in politics.)
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To: Silentgypsy

Agreed. Competition is as American as apple pie, but this boorish behavior is akin to the same displayed by urban gangs.

Respectfully disagree should be a mandated class throughout school and this behavior would greatly diminish.


17 posted on 10/26/2012 3:51:53 AM PDT by Molon Labbie (Prep. Now. Live Healthy, take your Shooting Iron daily.)
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To: Dr. Sivana
For the record, I have worn my Rams shirt to Viking bars

There are vikings bars? panther bars? They must be in the hometown of those sports teams, because in my travels, I've never seen one.

There are thousands of STEELER BARS, a few cowboy {out} roadhouses and several Packer gin joints, but viking bars...where?

BTW, do the Rams play soccer or foosball?

Just kidding, maybe.

18 posted on 10/26/2012 4:00:27 AM PDT by USS Alaska (Nuke the terrorist savages, start today.)
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Comment #19 Removed by Moderator

To: 2ndDivisionVet

Me to fan: Who is the Vice President?
Fan: Uh, I dunno, Sarah Palin?

Obama voter?


20 posted on 10/26/2012 4:14:07 AM PDT by Tolerance Sucks Rocks (Obama should change his campaign slogan to "Yes, we am!" Sounds as stupid as his administration is.)
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To: Born to Conserve

These rabid sports fans have the same mentality as do gang members...”you’re the enemy just because of the colors you’re wearing and I am justified in attacking you”. It is truly a sick sense of self-importance from being associated with a sports team. I’ve seen it first hand. My daughter went to one of our two big state colleges. We happen to live in the area of the other college. While wearing a ballcap from her school, I’ve had complete strangers walk up to me and say, “you suck!” and try to start a confrontation. Just sick.


21 posted on 10/26/2012 4:17:11 AM PDT by RetiredCopFarmer
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Comment #22 Removed by Moderator

To: 2ndDivisionVet
You would think that after 9-11 and two wars we could come together as a country. Instead we are more polarized and divided than ever.

The current resident of the white house hasn't helped that one bit and in fact seeks to divide and conquer.

Football is a game, sport, entertainment, a break from reality. Judging a man by the color of his jersey is no different than judging a man by the color of his skin.

23 posted on 10/26/2012 6:33:44 AM PDT by Newbomb Turk (Hey Newbomb, where's your brothers ElCamino ?)
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To: USS Alaska
There are vikings bars? panther bars? They must be in the hometown of those sports teams, because in my travels, I've never seen one.

Northern Illinois, Rockford area, is about 40% Packers, 40% Bears, 10% Viking, and 10% "Other". The Sportspage on Broadway is a Viking Bar, which isn't a bad option for them. If they were a Packer bar, Bears fans would stay away. If they were a Bears bar, Packer fans would stay away. By being a Viking bar, both come and just sneer a bit more. The recognizeable Viking fan base so far from Minnesota is due to Rockford's large Swedish population.

I actually stumbled upon a Washington Redskins themed diner in Meriden, CT (Fatboys on Main, near the tracks). The owner must have wanted to make a point REALLY bad, and Redskin fans are particular pig-headed in that regard. Of course the place failed in short order. (For the record, Meriden, like most of CT, is Giants territory. The Patriots may vaingloriously claim all six New England states as their territory, but it is a fiction.)

BTW, do the Rams play soccer or foosball?

I have Mr. Deacon Jones here. He might be 70, but would you be willing to say that to his face?

The Rams were around before there even was a Pittsburgh Steelers (as you undoubtedly know, they were the Pirates in the '30s). The Rams also won championships before the Steelers even made the playoffs. Although the Rams may have moved around, winning championships in each claimed city (Cleveland, L.A., St. Louis), they never changed names and they never changed conferences.

Of course, both the Rams and the Steelers are real historic entitities, and not an expansion ploy conjured up in an attempt to contain the AFL, forcing an existing AFL franchise (Dallas Texans) to move to Kansas City.

We still owe you for Super Bowl XIV.
24 posted on 10/26/2012 6:50:52 AM PDT by Dr. Sivana (There is no salvation in politics.)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

For our recent stay at the Outer Banks in NC, I left my Giants gear at home. After the 36-7 shellacking of the Panthers, I figured wearing Giants warmups might cause a hostile response.

If I saw crap like that happening, I’d probably be stupid enough to jump in and defend the opponent’s fan, unless I saw them start the whole thing. Ribbing, OK; hostility and violence, not so.


25 posted on 10/26/2012 6:56:52 AM PDT by JimRed (Excise the cancer before it kills us; feed &water the Tree of Liberty! TERM LIMITS, NOW & FOREVER!)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

Cowboys. “America’s Team.” Bleh.


26 posted on 10/26/2012 6:56:52 AM PDT by PLMerite (Shut the Beyotch Down! Burn, baby, burn!)
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To: Newbomb Turk
Football is a game, sport, entertainment, a break from reality.

Amen. The country is going to hell, but you would not want to wear an Auburn T-shirt among Alabama alumni, a University of Texas T-shirt in Norman, OK, or a Yankees T-shirt in Boston.

27 posted on 10/26/2012 6:59:05 AM PDT by Wallace T.
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To: 2ndDivisionVet; Born to Conserve
BtC, you are completely wrong on this one.

First, veterans do not want a "free pass" - that is absolutely true. However, veterans are human beings and deserve basic respect. Second, those of us who are not veterans owe them a great debt, which demands even more respect. They may not be asking for a "free pass" - but, unless they have dishonored their service, we have a moral obligation not to give them anything for "free" but to give them what they have certainly earned, and sometimes earned at great cost.

Second, this is America. Any drinking establishment that is not a private club for paying members is an establishment that should be a welcome environment for sports fans of any stripe. If you want to have a "Panthers fans only" bar, then you should not pretend that your business is a public accomodation.

Third, the mentality of a sports fan who would stalk and threaten a fan of a rival team is the mentality of a disturbed five year old.

"Hardcore fans" who curse, threaten and menace other people just for following a different sports team are not just idiots. They are not just cowards. They are failed human beings, and untrustworthy psychopaths. There is a difference between enjoying a sport and supporting a team and being an unbalanced social parasite. This "Panthers fan" is beneath contempt.

Fourth, the story as written implies that this gutless wonder started the entire incident by accosting a woman unloading a wheelchair in a parking lot.

What kind of bottom feeder does that sort of thing? How can anyone consider such an individual to be anything other that the lowest form of filth? This is the kind of person who joins inner city "flash mobs" or the Sturmabteilung.

28 posted on 10/26/2012 7:27:50 AM PDT by wideawake
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

If Mr. Fan is so convinced he’s in the right, why not reveal his identity? He doesn’t deserve the freedom this Marine (and all members of the military,past and present) afford him.


29 posted on 10/26/2012 7:39:22 AM PDT by liberalh8ter (If Barack has a memory like a steel trap, why can't he remember what the Constitution says?)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

I can completely seeing this sort of crap happening, never understood the lunacy of “team loyalty” to this level.. little light hearted ribbing is all in good fun, but don’t kid yourself, there are people in this world where their sports team is their life.


30 posted on 10/26/2012 7:40:00 AM PDT by HamiltonJay
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

This story makes my blood boil.

If anyone can tell me how to contact this veteran, please let me know. I’d like to send him something.


31 posted on 10/26/2012 7:53:46 AM PDT by Professional
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To: HamiltonJay
there are people in this world where their sports team is their life

You've got that right.

And they typically are in peak physical condition, are successfully enjoying a high-powered career, have a full family life and are, under no circumstances, living in their mom's basement at the age of 35.

32 posted on 10/26/2012 8:08:20 AM PDT by wideawake
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To: Professional

Here is the perp, “tank”...

http://cedarposts.blogspot.com/2012/10/josh-tank-watts-marine-corps-have-your.html


33 posted on 10/26/2012 8:24:56 AM PDT by Professional
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To: USS Alaska

the cloverleaf bar in bremerton wa is half vikings half packers, working there on a viking packers game was always a blast. But that was 15 years now, not sure if it is even there.


34 posted on 10/26/2012 8:37:04 AM PDT by Docbarleypop
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To: Professional

why do I get the feeling that “Tank” will get a chance encounter with a pack of dogs? (Devil Dogs that is) As a Corpsman, I have a soft spot for all Marines. This guy was actually luck that the Marine was with his family instead of with his boys. But then a guy like that wouldn’t have the cahonies to call out a bunch of Leather Necks.


35 posted on 10/26/2012 8:48:25 AM PDT by Docbarleypop
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To: Docbarleypop

That link has quite a few comments, and it appears that Tank has responded like the little weasel he is. Tank and this restaurant are facing some painful days ahead. Tank works for the Bobcats, and is probably going to lose his job.... They also posted which seats that Tank sits in, at the Panther games. Tank, is tanked....

The pictures of Tank, priceless. Typical douche...


36 posted on 10/26/2012 8:58:44 AM PDT by Professional
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To: cherry; All
I love sports and we have season tickets for two different sports for two different universities...but I can’t imagine getting this out of control over it...

Getting this out of control?

Anybody remember Bryan Stow, a SF Giant baseball fan? He and his buds went LA to see their team play the Dodgers. Leaving the game wearing Giants team gear they got the friendly razzing from Dodger fans one might expect. But it went from that to threats, cursing, etc.

End result, two Dodger cretins pounced on Stow who is now in a wheel-paralyzed with brain damage and re-learing basic functions.

37 posted on 10/26/2012 12:17:12 PM PDT by QT3.14 (ZerObama: Our first White Black pResident)
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To: Dr. Sivana
We still owe you for Super Bowl XIV.

Great game, but I will admit we got lucky in that game.

There was never a time that I was comfortable during that game.

Fitzgerald is still one of the finest receivers in the NFL.

The mere fact that people can name the bars for various teams, proves my point.

Google "Steeler bars" and you will get thousands of listings.

38 posted on 10/26/2012 1:21:01 PM PDT by USS Alaska (Nuke the terrorist savages, start today.)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet
Several members of the party, including Garrett Carnes, were wearing Dallas Cowboys jerseys.

I may be old school, but I believe jerseys should only be worn on the field by the players.

39 posted on 10/28/2012 3:11:14 PM PDT by Fiji Hill (Deo Vindice!)
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