Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Don't be a hot dog, or protecting yourself?

INTERESTING STORY IN today's Herald-Whig about the downtown business owner being convicted by a jury Tuesday for using a Taser on a supposedly rowdy customer.

Read the story here. Or buy a paper today. Don O'Brien, as usual, did a great job writing the story.

The basic gist is that the business owner (it's two blocks around the corner from our store) was in her hot dog restaurant, claimed customers were being unruly, and then it got ugly.

Here's the first thing to say - do not take the law into your own hands. Certainly we have the right to protect ourselves. Had this gal called the police right away, the outcome may have been different.

Certainly the "shades of truth" theory is in play here. Whatever happened, alcohol was involved and it was 2 in the morning, and those are never good combinations. While nobody should get shocked, it's hard to have sympathy for the victim in this case.

If I were a late-night store owner, I'd be careful and take precautions because you are dealing with a lot of drunk customers - there are three or four bars/nightclubs open into the late hours within a block of the restaurant. But I'd also have to weigh taking money from drunk and stupid people vs. bad behavior. Is it worth it to stay open late?

The owner's two daughters were working in the restaurant. If my daughter is in my store, and there's trouble .... I'm not sure what would happen.

I did not attend the trial, don't know any of the people involved. But it's pretty obvious from reading the story that the restaurant owner's story didn't jive with the facts of the case - she claimed she didn't shock anybody, yet the victim had burn marks. She claimed she didn't go outside the restaurant, yet the police officer who responded said she was outside.

Jurors aren't dumb. They can see and hear and smell out dubious stories.

Now she's facing up to five years in prison. Assuming she has no priors, she'll have a shot at getting probation, if she says the right things during sentencing and in her pre-sentence report with the probation department.

People have the right to defend themselves. We've had few issues inside our store, though we aren't open late. One night we were in here jamming and a very intoxicated man walked in, stumbled around and started yelling incoherently. All it took was for Tim Smith (6-foot-5) and myself (6-7) to stand up and politely inform the man his time was up. Problem solved, no Taser needed.

I actually feel sorry for a dirtball who would try anything with Sheryl around - it would turn out very badly for that person. And I'd just be watching.

Then I'd get a hot dog. To go.

1 comment:

  1. It is nice to have a late night spot to grad a bite in after a night of moderate imbibing...But is so hard for these places to manage safely. Hardees, Stake and Shake, Coach House I think used to do it, but they had to hire security or off-duty police officers, and I think they all ultimately decided it just wasn't worth it....The old Mark Twain Restaurant, you took your life in your hands if you went there...Just hearing that the hot dog place was doing late night, you just new they would have problems....Regretful. "Don't tase me bro, let me finish my Chicago style"