Sexual assault is certainly no laughing matter, but what happened to one woman named Isabelle Lassiter at Murfreesboro, Tennessee’s Wasabi sushi restaurant on the night of the 26th is sure to make you smirk — it has done so with a large portion of the internet. In fact, the incident, which the woman is claiming to have been sexual assault but which did not actually involve genitals or sexual innuendo in any way, went viral yesterday and has already been reported by over a dozen major news sources.
— Business Insider (@businessinsider) July 23, 2016
One such source, ABC 13, relays that the woman and her husband, James Lassiter, were travelling in Tennessee with their family when they decided to grab dinner at Wasabi, one of the sushi restaurants in the town where they were staying.
The two loaded up the car and stepped out for a night on the town. Little did they know their Japanese-inspired eating experience would turn out to be be one of the more talked-about news stories on the internet for the next few days.
The woman and her husband were in the middle of a romantic meal at the restaurant one moment, and the next thing they knew, she was being squirted in the face by a trickle of water. The woman looked at where the water was coming from, and she immediately spotted the source… the crotch area of a plastic figure of a young boy.
It’s time for a little bit of context.
The sushi chefs at Wasabi apparently have a penchant for showmanship. They try to put on a show for every one of their customers while preparing the food, and that is why they use nifty little cooking devices to add flourish during the sushi’s preparation.
— Sushi City Hrnchurch (@SushiCityHorn) June 24, 2016
For example, the chefs have small figures that look like a plastic miniature of a little boy. The figures are hollow, and they are filled with water. When the chef pulls down the boy’s pants, one will not find the elements one might expect if the model were anatomically correct. Instead, a small stream of water squirts out of the area where one might expect urine to come from, assuming the plastic figure is representative of a human.
The water spray from the boy is generally used by Wasabi’s sushi chefs as a cool-looking way to spray water during the cooking process, although whether that is actually cool or infinitely creepy and repulsive is up for debate.
The night the Lassiters visited Wasabi, though, the chef “entertaining” them accidentally got some of the spray on the woman’s face.
The chef would freely admit later that he had accidentally gotten some of the liquid on the woman, probably seeing the incident for what it was — a small water spill. The woman and her husband, however, were not amused.
“It peed on me, basically, out of its… wee-wee area,” the woman said in an interview with KOCO. James continued that the situation was only worsened by the fact that the whole family had been there to watch the woman get peed on.
“It shot water out of its penis… in front of our minor children and grandchildren.”
Props to James for stepping in for the woman and bringing himself to utter the word “penis.” Unfortunately, his use of the P-word seems to have been wasted, because the figure doesn’t sport anything even resembling genitals.
When this fact was pointed out to the woman, she said that it had not been the imagery, but the principle, that had made her feel violated by the “explicit” demonstration.
“It really didn’t have a wiener, but you got the point,” she insisted.
“Just because somebody cut off a piece of plastic okay its not there anymore… doesn’t change the fact that your getting peed on,” the woman’s husband explained.
The couple felt so offended at the restaurant that they immediately called the police. When officers arrived at the scene, though, they found little ground for legal action. They sided with the restaurant’s owner, who likened the sexless chunk of painted plastic to a small water gun, and the couple did not press charges.
They are still upset, though, and James insists his wife was indeed assaulted, no matter what one might think.
“It was a sexual style assault on my wife,” he says.
Since going viral, reports and videos of the incident have whipped up one hell of a response from users, who say the claims are an obvious and desperate attempt at a lawsuit by the woman and her husband.
“These people are looking for a payday…” writes one commenter.
“OH. MY. WORD. Seriously? Always looking for a lawsuit,” says another.
“The Lassiters are submoronic drama queens,” a third wrote very succinctly.
To be fair, though, Wasabi might want to think about replacing the water sprayer devices the chefs use on the food, and not just to avoid lawsuits from one unfortunate woman. Just an idea.
[Photo by Floriana Barbu/Getty Images]