Man Forced to Leave Bar for Wearing ‘MAGA’ Hat is Considering Legal Redress

Jeremy Sandberg
By Jeremy Sandberg
March 14, 2019US News

NEW YORK—At a press conference in front of the bar Jake’s Dilemma on March 13, a patron who was forced to leave for wearing a Trump “MAGA” hat and his attorney announced that they are considering seeking legal redress.

Attorney Manny Alicandro addressed the media in front of the bar.

“Mr. Cini was forced to leave Jake’s dilemma for wearing a “MAGA” hat,” he said.

Dion Cini was a regular customer at the bar over the last couple of years and had worn his hat there on many occasions.

A week prior to the press release, Cini was allegedly berated by several employees for wearing the hat and forced to leave for refusing to take it off.

In the video taken by Cini, you can see the bartender try to take away Cini’s phone and say that he doesn’t like red hats.

Cini said he had already been in the bar for an hour and placed his order when he was assaulted by the bartender and ultimately removed solely due to his political beliefs.

Cini’s attorney said they are considering legal redress.

“We are concerned with the way we have been treated, and are considering legal redress at the moment,” Alicandro said.

Red Hat Intolerance

Cini says he was having a beer and eating fish and chips at the Manhattan Upper West Side bar called Jake’s Dilemma when was told he had to leave because of his red “Make America Great Again” visor hat.

In the video taken on Cini’s cellphone, you can hear the bartender and a bouncer telling Cini he had to leave.

“Because of my hat?” Cini asked.

The bouncer repeatedly tells Cini to leave the bar and acknowledges that he’s done nothing wrong.

“Why just because I have a red hat on?” asks Cini.

The police were eventually called by the bartender and Cini left after paying his tab.

Apologetic Dilemma

Jake’s Dilemma issued an apology on their Facebook page after the incident.

“We would like everyone to know that we strive to remain completely apolitical and welcome customers with all beliefs and affiliations with the same first-rate level of customer service. Jake’s Dilemma is not a place promoting any specific political ideology nor a place where we want anyone to feel unwelcome,” the Facebook post said.

Jake’s acknowledges that the bartender was out of line.

“We do fully acknowledge that one of our employees took it upon himself to wrongly promote his political views. We can assure everyone that this employee has been disciplined and will be retrained before being allowed to serve at Jake’s Dilemma,” the Facebook post said.

At the press conference, Cini’s attorney said in an interview that after the apology, the spokesman for the bar claimed Cini made anti-semetic comments which Cini says is a false accusation.

Political Harassment

Other cases of MAGA hat harassment have been seen across the United States, including when a woman assaulted a man in restaurant in Falmouth, Massachusetts. In another incident, a school bus aide yelled for a student to remove their MAGA hat before grabbing it off of his head in Martin County, Florida.

In November 2018, a man was assaulted while walking in Tuscan, Arizona, for wearing a MAGA hat.

At the center of recent MAGA hat attention is Covington Catholic school student Nicholas Sandmann, who has moved to sue CNN for defamation.

Covington student speaks out
Nick Sandmann, wearing a “Make America Great Again” hat, looks at Nathan Phillips, a Native American anti-President Donald Trump activist in Washington on Jan. 18, 2019. (Survival Media Agency via AP)

Another example is the case of Jussie Smollett, the “Empire” actor who falsely reported a hate crime to police, alleging that two white men had assaulted him in downtown Chicago, shouting slurs as well as the “MAGA” line.

A grand jury indicted Smollett on 16 felony counts. (Ashlee Rezin/Chicago Sun-Times via AP)

Detectives in Chicago later determined that Smollett allegedly orchestrated the attack, which was highly publicized by media outlets, politicians, and celebrities.

Smollett had actually directed two Nigerian men to purchase rope, masks, and a hat at a store in Uptown Chicago to then assault him. Police say Smollett committed the act to further his career.

Smollet has since been indicted on 16 counts of lying to the police. He was also charged with disorderly conduct.

He has since been released on $100,000 bail.

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