Call 4 Action: Man with Deformity Claims Discrimination

A Harlingen man claimed the manager at a store in La Feria discriminated against him because of a deformity in his face.

Just before 2 p.m. Monday morning, Marisela Gonzales and her 25-year-old nephew Hilario Lopez walked in to the Dollar General store along Business 83 in La Feria.

"The reason I went there was because I was gonna buy some things, personal things," Gonzales told Action 4 News.

Lopez, who has a tumor that covers the right side of his face, walked in with her.

Once inside the store, they immediately got the feeling they weren't wanted.

"As soon as we walked in my nephew and I, they told us to leave the store, Gonzales said. The manager, her name is Nelda, she just told us to leave."

Shocked and in humiliated, Gonzales and Lopez walked out. "She should not have discriminated against him, Lopez TM mother, Leonila Gonzales said, adding that she was very offended and disappointed when she found out.

She has two other children with disabilities and said they should not be treated any differently, "that TMs how he was born."

Gonzales and Lopez turned to La Feria Police for help.

But after reviewing surveillance video with police, the manager pressed charges and they were cited instead.

Both of them must now show up in court on Wednesday for assault and for public disturbance, though the family claims they didn't do anything wrong.

"He is a good kid, Lopez TMs mother added.

She says having that condition has made her son humble, and that he has not had any problems with the law.

They say they will be in court Wednesday morning because they have nothing to hide, and because they feel they were the ones who were wronged.