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.
|by I.P. Freely||reply 54||03/02/2013|
She must have made one hell of a mess, disgusting people.
|by I.P. Freely||reply 1||03/01/2013|
20 minutes? She took a massive dump!
|by I.P. Freely||reply 2||03/01/2013|
So "miffed" he tracked her down? All that effort for five bucks? I guess business needs to pick up.
|by I.P. Freely||reply 3||03/01/2013|
I had a friend who ducked into a Giordano's (or similar establishment) in downtown Chicago. I was too embarrassed to go in. She was literally chased out by someone. She did get to go, though.
This woman feels violated? So she exposes herself to the world in order to compound her feelings of violation?
Anyway, isn't this illegal? Can somebody just ask the sheriff to run plates if there hasn't been any criminal activity or suspicion of activity?
|by I.P. Freely||reply 4||03/01/2013|
I kept seeing the headline of this story on yahoo and never clicked to find out why she felt "violated" because I knew it would be something stupid, and I was right! Fuck, dramatic much, honey? Will Gloria Allred be representing her in an emotional distress suit that she brought on herself because nobody would know about this if she hadn't mentioned it? And what the fuck is The Flood Zone? It sounds gross and bathroom-y to begin with.
|by I.P. Freely||reply 5||03/01/2013|
The Flood Zone? More like The Drop Zone. Am I right?
|by I.P. Freely||reply 6||03/01/2013|
R5, huh? Something can still feel like a violation if only the perp and the victim know about it. The actual process of being tracked down is what felt violating to her. If someone read your personal email, you'd feel violated whether or not you told the media. It is a bit strange to find out that the sheriff's department works that way.
|by I.P. Freely||reply 7||03/01/2013|
[quote]. It is a bit strange to find out that the sheriff's department works that way.
I find this very disturbing.
|by I.P. Freely||reply 8||03/01/2013|
I don't think the sheriff's dept. should have gotten involved.
The woman was a douche for not at least buying something.
|by I.P. Freely||reply 9||03/01/2013|
The Flood Zone? The name alone makes me wanna pee on the floor.
|by I.P. Freely||reply 10||03/01/2013|
She feels VIOLATED, really? I guess that's why she alerted the media?
She can fuck right off.
|by I.P. Freely||reply 11||03/01/2013|
[quote] Anyway, isn't this illegal? Can somebody just ask the sheriff to run plates if there hasn't been any criminal activity or suspicion of activity?
Trespassing is a criminal activity. When you have signs posted that restrooms are for customers only, and the woman wasn't a customer....
|by I.P. Freely||reply 12||03/01/2013|
Did she whack of her clit in there?
|by I.P. Freely||reply 13||03/01/2013|
The sheriff was involved? What a waste if taxpayer money.
|by I.P. Freely||reply 14||03/01/2013|
In my town if a business sells food or beverages they have to provide a public restroom. I don't know if there is anything in the statute that says the restroom can be limited to paying customers only
I can't believe this woman went to the press with this. I also can't believe the sheriff got involved in this. It's illegal to use city resources like this
|by I.P. Freely||reply 15||03/01/2013|
[quote] “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
She's feels violated? How do you think the bathroom feels?
|by I.P. Freely||reply 16||03/01/2013|
If we lived in a civil society we'd have more public restrooms.
|by I.P. Freely||reply 17||03/01/2013|
[quote] “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
Is Nashville so boring that the news media is covering a woman who took a dump and was fined $5 for it?
Only in the South......
|by I.P. Freely||reply 18||03/01/2013|
R12, I think that's debatable. Just because a sign is placed on the premises does not make it a law.
|by I.P. Freely||reply 19||03/01/2013|
r18 Not only did they cover it but worked on it for months, see the article. What did they work on for months? The bathroom policy or this woman's ticket? It was hilarious to read that, like it's such a fucking serious sting.
|by I.P. Freely||reply 21||03/01/2013|
I guess this is better than the usual sweeps month investigations the TV stations would do about public cruising - those were always so vicious and hateful, how the newscasters would snarl as they read those stories.
|by I.P. Freely||reply 22||03/01/2013|
As someone who worked at a movie theater when I was a teen, I can tell you that no one looks forward to cleaning the restroom. It's just a dirty job. As an adult, I will respect and honor any restaurant that restricts it's bathroom to paying customer's only. The one time I had to go, I ducked into a McDonald's and bought a small drink even though I don't drink sodas or even eat food there.
However, this case is a bit extreme. Using a public servant to track someone for using the bathroom?
|by I.P. Freely||reply 23||03/01/2013|
Business do not have the legal right to impose "fines", all they can do is refuse to provide services.
|by I.P. Freely||reply 24||03/01/2013|
I thought the text in the OP was the entire article.
More interesting information that puts the situation in an entirely different light. The woman's concern was that the restaurant owner used the sheriff to get the information I was wondering how the owner could enforce payment of the bill. But the proprietor refused to take payment?! She wanted to make some kind of a point
[quote]Barnes said she wasn’t angry about the bill, which she attempted to pay, twice, and which the Flood Zone owners refused ("I would not take her $5," Lisa told Shine). What did upset her, though, was that the police shared her and husband Randy Edwards’ address with Lisa so she could mail the bill. The couple said they'd had a restraining order against someone in their past, and have been protective about their private information.
[quote]“People don’t have the right to just run your tags and give your information out to just anybody,” Edwards told WSMV. According to the Houston County Sheriff, Darrell Allison, though, it was no biggie. “I would say that happens every day,” he told the TV station. “It’s a very common occurrence.”
[quote][bold]But, countered local state Rep. John C. Tidwell, “The way I interpret it, it would be illegal,” he said, explaining that license plate information is to be used only for law enforcement purposes. “The information should not have ever been given over to the business. That is information that is supposed to be dealt with by the state’s agency or the official.”[/bold]
[quote]When reached by phone, a receptionist for Sheriff Allison told Yahoo! Shine he was not "giving any more comments about this."
|by I.P. Freely||reply 25||03/01/2013|
The police actually wasted resources to track her down for using a customer only washroom? Really?
|by I.P. Freely||reply 26||03/01/2013|
And that was the whole point of the two month investigation, R26.
I do feel bad for the lady. She and her husband had a restraining order out against someone and the sheriff is giving away their private information to someone who's on a bathroom vendetta. That's scary. Law enforcement giving your information away to someone who might cause harm.
|by I.P. Freely||reply 27||03/01/2013|
There are phone apps that allow anyone to run a license plate number.
|by I.P. Freely||reply 28||03/01/2013|
Does the business get tax breaks?
If the answer is yes, then they have no "business" having that policy.
|by I.P. Freely||reply 29||03/01/2013|
Yes, the real story here is the illegal action by the police department. That is worth a two-month investigation and I hope they nail the fuckers for giving out the woman's private information.
|by I.P. Freely||reply 30||03/01/2013|
Sometimes you just have to go and this kind of thing doesn't happen often enough to cause any problems. Petty, petty, petty. I was with my son and a little friend of his, a girl about 2 years old. She had to pee, right then as little kids often have to do. Lady in store would not let little girl use her bathroom. Little girl piddled right in front of her on the carpet. No, I didn't feel bad at all. Except for the nasty bitch humiliating a little girl who couldn't help it.
|by I.P. Freely||reply 31||03/01/2013|
[quote]Trespassing is a criminal activity. When you have signs posted that restrooms are for customers only, and the woman wasn't a customer....
It's only criminal trespass if you instruct someone to leave and the refuse to do so.
The restaurant owner has learned a lesson about invading other people's privacy. People far and wide have been contacting the place and expressing their disapproval in every which way.
|by I.P. Freely||reply 32||03/01/2013|
Why the fuck would the owner send a bill for $5 and then refuse payment?
This poor woman had the misfortune of taking a dump in the business of a CRAZY BITCH. That's the real story here.
|by I.P. Freely||reply 33||03/02/2013|
Were the changing rooms at T.J. Maxx backed up?
|by I.P. Freely||reply 34||03/02/2013|
Everyone involved sounds like real nut-jobs. ESPECIALLY the person who should have paid the five dollars and let it go.
|by I.P. Freely||reply 35||03/02/2013|
Totally agree with R35. $5 to use the toilet is total price gouging. I bet the water bill is the lowest expense that this restaurant has. Even in places that have public restrooms that charge for their use (Vienna, Austria) the charge is only 50 Euro cents not $5. Is this restaurant the only place that has a bathroom for miles(similar to the last rest on the highway for the next 200 miles)?
And honestly if it were a real emergency (i.e. she was going to wet herself any second) I don't see why she couldn't have just run in used the bathroom and left and no one would be the wiser. Is some restaurant owner going to be that much of dick to go after someone coming out of a bathroom screaming you didn't pay you didn't pay.
|by I.P. Freely||reply 36||03/02/2013|
Does this apply to pooping in stores?
|by I.P. Freely||reply 37||03/02/2013|
ANyone else in this thread in my age range (59, alas), and grew up on East Coast? I remember public bathrooms with stalls and the stalls each had locked doors that could ONLY be opened with you putting in a dime. I'm not kidding. Maybe even in CA? I can remember this going on up tlil c. 1976...
Anyone else remembers? would love hearing. I can speak to this practice in 3 small and medium cities in Northern and Central NYS; 60's and 70's.
Thanks - oh, and agree with the posters that said this Sherrif's Dept was nuts! I don't blame that woman for feeling "violated."
|by I.P. Freely||reply 38||03/02/2013|
In England, a euphemism for taking a shit is/was "spend a penny" because public rest rooms required one pence to open.
|by I.P. Freely||reply 39||03/02/2013|
Check out their Yelp page. They're already getting tons of bad publicity for this move.
|by I.P. Freely||reply 40||03/02/2013|
[quote]stayed in the bathroom for, like, 20 minutes,"
Ugh. This is such a loathsome way to use a public bathroom.
|by I.P. Freely||reply 41||03/02/2013|
[quote]stayed in the bathroom for, like, 20 minutes
"Ahmed, check the wastepaper bin for a strangled infant!"
|by I.P. Freely||reply 42||03/02/2013|
R35 and R36 do not seem to have read article or the thread. The woman attempted to pay the $5 twice, but the proprietor of the restaurant refused to take the "payment."
|by I.P. Freely||reply 43||03/02/2013|
I remember those in California in the '70s, R38. I think they were either a dime or a quarter and they were right next to stalls you didn't have to pay for. Made little sense. For some strange reason, March Fong Eu, who ran for and became Secretary of State, had campaign commercials proposing a ban. I don't think her office had any ability to regulate this.
|by I.P. Freely||reply 44||03/02/2013|
2010 Tennessee Code Title 39 - Criminal Offenses Chapter 17 - Offenses Against Public Health, Safety and Welfare Part 1 - Miscellaneous 39-17-105 - Charge for use of public toilet 39-17-105. Charge for use of public toilet facility prohibited. (a) It is an offense for a person maintaining toilet facilities available to the public to impose a charge for the use of the facility. (b) Each toilet facility maintained in violation of this section constitutes a separate offense. (c) An offense under this section is a Class C misdemeanor. [Acts 1989, ch. 591, 1.]
|by I.P. Freely||reply 45||03/02/2013|
R38, I live in Ohio and also close to your age (I'm 58) and I recall seeing the pay stalls when I was a kid. I think it was a nickel or dime. My grandparenst used to take us to the movies and would always tells us we had to "hold it" until we got home because they didn't want to spend the dime.
|by I.P. Freely||reply 46||03/02/2013|
The pay stalls thrived because everyone knows poor people pee on the seat.
|by I.P. Freely||reply 47||03/02/2013|
So the cops took the word of a business owner and tracked down the perp and gave her personal info to the business owner based solely on an allegation that someone did something she (bus. owner) didn't like. No trial. No conviction. Just an allegation that someone did something completely LEGAL that the business owned didn't want done.
And the tax payers are okay with this complete waste of police resources?
Well okay then.
|by I.P. Freely||reply 49||03/02/2013|
Shit happens. When it does, you gotta go what you gotta do.
|by I.P. Freely||reply 50||03/02/2013|
This business owner is probably one of those republicans calling for less government interference in business, though apparently it's fine to use government resources to fine someone and then not collect the money.
|by I.P. Freely||reply 51||03/02/2013|
I think she deserves some of our resident coprophile making the poopy equivalent of butter cows and sending them to this bitch.
And you know it's a bunch of brown-crack frausen here complaining. What makes such twats think they can go shit wherever they want?
I'm human. I have elimination needs. I travel with my job. Ask me how many times I've stopped and taken advantage of a hole where my ass wasn't wanted? For that matter, ask me how many times I've had to stop during my business and do my business? Precisely never. And I've got a case of IBS. So I know this bitch is just a mess maker.
She feels violated? VIOLATED? So her dirty ladyanus feels screwed over because she sneaked a stealthdoody? These women are absolutely disgusting.
|by I.P. Freely||reply 52||03/02/2013|
Why didn't the woman just buy a damn cup of coffee or soda after she was done? If she was in their hogging up the bathroom for 20 minutes, it's the least she could have done.
|by I.P. Freely||reply 53||03/02/2013|