A Belgian diplomat says his family was bounced from a White Plains golf club — and treated like “terrorists” — simply because his wife was breastfeeding at a table and he was carrying a black backpack.
Tom Neijens, 36, and his wife, Roseline Remans, 34, stopped by the Metropolis Country Club on June 8 and asked if they could
have lunch despite the fact that they weren't members.
Staffers gave the Harlem family permission to dine on the terrace, where Remans said she discreetly bared her bosom to feed her daughter, Luka. A female manager swiftly intervened to nip the feeding in the bud.
She said, ‘Please leave immediately, you are disturbing the members,’ ” Neijens, first secretary of the Belgium Mission to the UN, told The Post.Neijens said it would only take a few minutes, but Remans was told to finish in the restroom.
“You don’t ask a person to have lunch in the restroom — why would you ask a baby to have lunch there?” Neijens said.
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,” Neijens said. “He had one hand on his gun, one hand on his Taser.”
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 Remans, on the verge of tears, questioned why terrorists would breastfeed at a ritzy club, the cop allegedly replied, “In Sri Lanka, babies are used by terrorists.”
Harding changed his tone when Neijens revealed his State Department-issued ID. “You have to understand, this club has had terrorism threats in the past,” the cop said.The family was escorted out through a back door.
Days later, the diplomat sent an e-mail demanding an apology from Metropolis general manager Tracy Fraus and assistant general manager Audra Vaccari.
“I am deeply worried about your staff if they cannot distinguish between a European couple looking for a quiet place to breast-feed a baby and suicide terrorists carrying a backpack,” Neijens wrote.
Fraus declined to comment.
Neijens and his family are moving to Ethiopia in the next few weeks.
Lt. B.J. Ryan, a spokesman for the Greenburgh PD, called the incident a “cultural misunderstanding” — and said it was Neijens who fumed, “You must think the baby is a terrorist.”
Culled from The New York Post July 7/2013