A 37-year-old Spokane, Washington, man has been banned from Starbucks. Reportedly, the man spent a little too much time and effort hitting on a 16-year-old Starbucks barista, even going so far as to pass the girl a “creepy” note. The next day, when he returned to the Starbucks, the police were waiting to tell him that he had been banned from that location.
After the incident, the man took to Facebook to share his side of the story and complain about “ageism.” He said the girl thought he was “funny,” and because she was “old enough to date” in the state of Washington, he didn’t think he was crossing any lines. In Washington, the legal age of consent is 16-years-old.
“I was flirted with by a barista. For some reason she thought I was funny. Said I was funny. So I gave her a note to see if she’d be interested in dinner.”
Apparently, the Starbucks barista was less interested than the man thought she might be, because the police became involved in the situation that the man described as simply “hitting on” her. As KING 5 reports, the man’s online complaint regarding his “Starbucks treatment” quickly went viral.
It didn’t take long for his post addressing his being banned from Starbucks to reach 4,500 shares. Not to mention the drama and controversy it incited. The man in question was not charged with a crime, and in Washington, there is nothing illegal about a 37-year-old man dating a 16-year-old girl, let alone asking her out.
The man banned by Starbucks addressed that much in his response to the ban, and the ensuing controversy.
“I know the female Starbucks barista was of legal age to date. I broke no laws. I merely took a chance with my heart. I’m tired of hearing the word ‘creep’ as any black person or gay person is tired of hearing certain words. I have a whole webpage dedicated to age gap love.”
What’s more, the man in question asked his Facebook friends to contact Starbucks to complain after he was banned.
Many people were unimpressed with the man’s call to action after being banned from Starbucks. Even though he publicly called the banning “discrimination” and “ageism,” even citing his own webpage “dedicated to age gap love,” not everyone in cyberspace had his back. Indeed, reports 12 News Arizona, many people have come forward to stand firmly on the side of Starbucks, agreeing with the coffee company that the man deserved to be banned for his “creepy” behavior.
The tale of the 37-year-old “Romeo” being banned for making advances toward a 16-year-old spread far and wide, and people from across the country and even the globe took to the Starbucks’ Facebook page to share their support for the company, commending them for ensuring that the offensive customer was banned and protecting their young barista.
While the man in question was only banned from the Spokane Starbucks location, Starbucks Corporate is wholeheartedly standing behind how the “creepy” situation was handled. After all, something about the interaction between the 37-year-old man and 16-year-old barista was so off-putting that Starbucks management felt the need to involve police. And those police were concerned enough to help enforce the Starbucks ban.
A spokesman for the company released a statement regarding the banned man and how the situation was handled by the management of the Spokane location.
“We have no tolerance for any such inappropriate behavior or harassment, and we will continue to support our store partners and local authorities investigating the situation,” said the Starbucks spokesperson.
According to Spokane police, Starbucks was well within their rights to have banned the controversial customer, adding that the store has a right to “refuse service to anyone for however long they choose.”
[Featured Image by Elise Amendola/AP Photo]