The woman dubbed “Permit Patty” after calling the police on an 8-year-old girl who was selling water in front of her apartment building has spoken out and says that her actions that day were “completely stress-related.” Her real name is Alison Ettel, and CBS News reports that she says she regrets how she dealt with the situation.
The story surrounding “Permit Patty” was all over the internet and social media over the weekend. It all began when 8-year-old Jordan Rogers was selling bottled water in front of the San Francisco apartment building where she lives. There was a baseball game in town that day. The San Diego Padres were scheduled to play the San Francisco Giants. Jordan thought she would get some sales from people who were on their way to the game. She had been doing it for about 15 minutes when Alison Ettel approached her and asked her if she had a permit. Jordan told reporters, “I didn’t know what a permit was.” Her mother, Erin Austin, went outside when she saw the two talking. She recorded their interaction.
Austin asked “Permit Patty” why she was calling the police. Ettel responded with, “Um, illegally selling water without a permit.” Austin has since said that she believes she must be filled with hate to call the police on a child. Others attributed it to racism and have grouped “Permit Patty” in with others like “Barbecue Becky” who called police on a black family who was cooking out at a public park and the Yale student who called police on a black man who was taking a nap in a common area of the school.
Alison said that she called the police because Jordan and her mother were screaming but that after seeing the video of her behavior, she regretted the way she handled the situation.
“I completely regret that I handled that so poorly. It was completely stress-related, and I should have never confronted her. That was a mistake, a complete mistake.”
Austin said she never screamed and that there was no reason to call the police. “Let kids be kids. If they’re not hurting anybody, who cares?” She also said that Jordan was selling water to help get the money for her and her family to go to Disneyland. They had been planning a trip there before her mom lost her job. “My daughter just wanted to help,” said Austin. That part of the “Permit Patty” story has a happy ending. Actor, singer, and dancer Jonathan Brannon heard Jordan’s story and has paid for her and her family to go to Disneyland whenever they want.