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Woman Tracked Down and Fined for Using Restaurant's Customers-Only Bathroom

When you gotta go, you gotta go. But sometimes, it’ll cost ya. That was the lesson one woman learned, in a major way, after making a bathroom pit stop at a local restaurant. The bizarre tale began when Patricia Barnes stopped into the Flood Zone to use the restroom without making a purchase. Then, a few days after her powder-room visit, Barnes received a handwritten note—mailed to her home—saying she owed the restaurant $5. “I just feel like I’ve been violated,” she told WSMV-TV in Nashville, whose reporters broke the story last week after a several-month investigation. In addition, she said on the Today show Thursday, "I didn't feel it was a crime. I'd been in to plenty of restaurants here in this town, and other towns, and, you know, other states." Turns out the local sheriff helped track Barnes down by running her license plate. The owner was miffed that the non-customer ignored a sign about the bathroom being for customers only. "She was one of these I'm-going-to-do-this-anyway kind of people," Flood Zone proprietor Lisa (who would not give her last name). Barnes, she said, came into the restaurant, "looked up at the [wall] menu like she was going to order, said 'Let me just wash my hands,' stayed in the bathroom for, like, 20 minutes," and then left.


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