BELLEVUE, Neb. (WOWT) — A local man was kicked out of a Bellevue Golden Corral because of the shirt on his back. Another customer reported him to the manager, claiming the shirt was too controversial for children to see. The situation has the man in-question considering his first amendment rights.
“”I paid for the f***-ing food,” Riek Mock can be heard saying in the video.
Mock told his son to start recording video on his phone Sunday when the restaurant’s manager asked him to leave.
“He said a customer is complaining he don’t like your T-shirt on,” said Mock. “I said ‘alright. Not a big deal. If he don’t like it, don’t look at it.’”
The shirt in question has two photos of President Donald Trump – on the front the text reads, “F*** Trump.” The back reads, “LOSER”.
Bellevue Police had to be called to escort him out of the restaurant– but not before some customers asked to take selfies with him.
“The freedom of speech,” Mock said. “I voted for him [Trump].”
The auto body shop owner says he’s worn his shirt many times in public. Mock said he’s even worn it at the same Golden Corral a handful of times.
What Mock learned very quickly is that you can’t wear anything you want when you’re on private property.
“Did I commit any crime? No,” he said.
The Bellevue officers made it clear they were only escorting him out because the manager has the right to refuse him business.
“”I work six days a week. That’s the only day I’ve got to spend with my kids and I felt like somebody was taking it away,” Mock told WOWT 6 News.
Mock is originally from Sudan. He says moving here to the U.S. he thought the First Amendment protected him everywhere he went. In the video he even made a point to repeat the word over and over.
“I’m getting kicked out of a ****place because they don’t like my **** T-Shirt,” he says in the video.
Mock said he was aggravated.
“Yeah, I was getting too angry. I felt offended with my kids around me.”
For now, he says he’ll keep wearing the shirt.
“Yes I will. Unless they tell me ‘don’t come in, we don’t like the T-shirt.’ Then I’ll leave it outside,” Mock said.
Golden Corral sent WOWT a statement and said it’s not the first time something similar has happened at their establishment. They said a similar situation happened in Georgia with a guest likely to have been on the opposite side of the political spectrum. Golden Corral officials said they handled it the same way. The issue for them was the profanity, not the politics.
Their statement read, “We take pride in offering every guest, at every restaurant, every day, a high-quality dining experience that caters to the whole family. By policy, we cannot allow guests attired in clothing featuring profanity to dine with us.”
WOWT 6 News also spoke with local lawyers over at Domina Law group. They said wearing profane clothing in public is perfectly legal, but it depends where you are. In Nebraska, a state statute allows individual cities to ban cursing by creating an ordinance.