Man filing lawsuit against clerk who denied him service speaks to FOX 46

Lawyers say discrimination was caught on camera at a Steele Creek gas station. FOX 46 first broke this story Tuesday night.

What happened one day back in June is now the subject of an eight-page lawsuit.    

Walter Montano was the one behind the camera, asking a Sam's Mart clerk why she wouldn't allow him to purchase some beer and juice.

Montano has filed a lawsuit against sam's mart over the incident. The suit claims they were embarrassed by the situation and robbed of a right they, and everyone else over the age of 21, is entitled to. They say they were targeted because of their race.

"She said, 'I need you to show me you're a legal person in the USA, for getting a beer," Mantano said.

He says he was embarrassed by the incident.

"We show the ladies and she still refused it."

Montano is from El Salvador, but is a legal permanent resident of the US. He was at the Sam's Mart with his stepfather, who was buying the beer along with some gas and juice.    

His attorneys say all he should've had to show was an ID that had his birthday. Instead, he says he was forced to bring everything out, including his social security card and was still denied service.

All that's required to purchase alcohol, under ABX, in the complaint we filed, is a NC driver's license or a passport from any nation," said attorney Abbey Krysak. "Our clients not only provided that, they provided their social security and green card, which is not required."

Montano says police were called, but the clerk went outside to her car.

"I tried to defend my right. Why do I need to do that just to buy a beer?"

Montano says the lawsuit is less about money and more about principle, saying no one should have to go through what he and his stepfather went through.

"The only way things get better is if you bring it to the forefront and fight for your rights," immigration attorney Joan Waldron said.

Joan Waldron is Montano's immigration attorney. She's not associated with the lawsuit, but says what Montano experienced is not unusual.

"People make assumptions about their lawful presence in the United States just based on hearing an accent or the color of their skin, and this is all too common," Waldron said. 

Waldron says many just don't step up, but Montano and his stepfather did, and the reason they say they did is simple.

"I don't want it to happen for other people."