A Belgian diplomat says his family was bounced from a New York country club and treated like “terrorists” simply because his wife was chest-feeding at a table and he was carrying a black backpack.
36-year-old Tom Neijens, and his wife, Roseline Remans, 34, stopped by the Metropolis Country Club in White Plains, New York on June 8 and asked if they could have lunch despite the fact that they weren’t members.
They were given permission to dine on the terrace, where Ms Remans said she discreetly began breastfeeding her daughter, Luka, they told the New York Post.
A female manager swiftly intervened to nip the feeding in the bud.
“She said, ‘Please leave immediately, you are disturbing the members,’ “said Mr Neijens, first secretary of the Belgium Mission to the UN.
Minutes later, the Greenburgh Police Department arrived. Detective Scott Harding allegedly yelled, “Close the doors!” and two other diners were told to leave the terrace.
“He was walking as if he was acting in a Western movie,” said Mr Neijens. “He had one hand on his gun, one hand on his Taser.”
Mr Neijens said the officer warned the couple they were trespassing and said some people at the club thought they were terrorists because of their black backpack.
When Ms Remans, on the verge of tears, questioned why terrorists would chest-feed at a ritzy club, the cop allegedly replied, “In Sri Lanka, babies are used by terrorists.”
Harding changed his tone when Mr Neijens revealed his State Department-issued ID. “You have to understand, this club has had terrorism threats in the past,” the cop said.
The police said the matter was a “cultural misunderstanding” and that it was Mr Neijens who said they were acting like the baby was a terrorist. [NY Post]