Society

Man Banned For Life From Starbucks Over Illegal Handicap Parking

| by Kathryn Schroeder

A St. Petersburg, Florida, man has been banned from Starbucks for life because he told people illegally parked in handicapped spaces to move.

Starbucks sent Rob Rowen a letter stating he has been disrupting business and threatening customers and is not welcome back, reports WTSP.

"I regret to inform you you've been expelled from Starbucks," the letter states.

Rowan expected the letter to be an apology from the chain because the South Dale Mabry, Tampa, location’s manager had kicked him out. Instead, Rowen is banned from any and all Starbucks.

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It all began because Rowen got tired of seeing people park in handicapped spaces when they were capable of walking the extra distance to the store.

"My son-in-law has muscular dystrophy and is in a power wheelchair,” Rowen said. “I’ve seen so many times, the issue of him trying to find a parking space.”

Rowen began telling illegally parked Starbucks visitors to move.

"I threatened to embarrass him by telling everybody he was parked illegally," Rowen said.

He took a picture of another illegally parked vehicle.

 "She said I'm calling the police, you're harassing me,” Rowen said. “I said go right ahead, so she ended up getting a ticket, which felt really good.”

A customer complaint resulted in the store manager banning Rowen for harassing customers.

“She said to me, you’re harassing my customers,” Rowen told Bay News 9. “I said, I’m one of your customers. I’m a regular customer and I’m trying to help you protect your other customers who might not be able to park anywhere else.”

Contacting the Starbucks district manager did not help the situation.

"Their response was go back to the manager, and the manager's bottom line was you're harassing people," Rowen said.

A Starbucks spokesperson released the following statement:

“We understand Mr. Rowen's concerns and have been speaking with him about this. Unfortunately, he became confrontational toward other customers, and we have asked him to refrain from visiting the store. We expect all of our customers to treat each other and our partners (employees) respectfully. We have been speaking with the landlord to improve the parking situation."

Sources: Bay News 9WTSP / ​Photo credit: Bay News 9