A man in St. Petersburg, Florida has been banned from Starbucks for life and the internet is furious, because people on the internet love vigilante justice; and, Rob Rowen was a vigilante crusader of handicapped parking spaces.
At first, he was only thrown out of one store in Tampa, but soon he received a letter from Starbucks corporation banning him from all stores. Rowen’s son-in-law has muscular dystrophy, so when people park in handicapped spaces, Rowen gets a bit touchy about it. When he sees someone who’s “capable” of walking, he confronts them if they park in a handicapped space.
Here’s the video:
While it seems as though he was protecting the rights of the disabled, something makes me think many disabled people would agree with Rowen’s tactics. Yes, he’s right that far too many people think it’s okay to park in a handicapped space if they are making just a quick stop in the store, but disabilities aren’t always obvious and they might not involve a wheelchair or a cane. There are many disabilities (like those of the heart and lungs) that might make a person look able to walk, but their doctors have advised them against walking distances.
I hate to be the only person on the internet to say maybe Starbucks is right. Rowen is perfectly within his rights to call police or complain to the store about someone illegally parking, but harassing people, who simply might not fit his definition of handicapped, is wrong. I guess we should be glad he was open carrying.
As for Starbucks, they are looking into the parking situation at that store, but they don’t want their customers to be harassed:
We are working with the landlord of the property where this store is located to improve the parking situation. It is our goal to provide a warm, friendly and positive experience for all of our customers.
Featured image via Wikimedia