Woman speaks out regarding use of 'customer only' restroom - WKRN News 2

Woman speaks out regarding use of 'customer only' restroom

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HICKMAN COUNTY, Tenn. -

An Erin, Tennessee woman has spoken out regarding a letter sent to her home asking her to pay $5 for using a restaurant's restroom that was reserved for customers only.

Patricia Barnes is facing public backlash after the owner of The Flood Zone, located on Highway 179, got her information from Sheriff Darrell Allison in Houston County and sent her a letter regarding her use of the ‘customers only' restroom.

Barnes spoke to Nashville's News 2 on Thursday.

She said that after a long October morning at a turkey shoot just across from The Flood Zone, she went in, perused the menu briefly and left without buying anything.

She also made a pit stop in the restroom.

"Three or four days later, I received this letter from The Flood Zone," said Barnes.

The handwritten note stated that restrooms are for customer use only, and requested that Barnes send $5 to the restaurant for violating its restroom policy.

Barnes, however, said that she didn't see a sign regarding the restroom policy.

Lisa Kent, co-owner of The Flood Zone, said that the letter wasn't so much about the $5.

"It was to prove, to show them it's for customers only because of the messes that are made in there," she said.

Barnes believes that this has become a privacy issue.

"The Sheriff gave my information out to her at the [drive-thru] window," she said.

Barnes explained that Sheriff Darrell Allison went through the drive-thru window to order food. The Sheriff then ran Barnes' license plates and handed Barnes' information over to the restaurant.

Barnes questioned whether the Sheriff's actions were in violation of the Driver's Privacy Protection Act of 1994, a Federal Law that restricts access to motor vehicle records.

"I came forward because this shouldn't have been done to nobody," said Barnes, "What happened to me was wrong."

Barnes said she tried to pay the $5, but her money was refused.

Barnes doesn't plan to eat at the Flood Zone anytime soon.

"I've eaten there before, but I won't again," she said.

Nashville's News 2 reached out to the Houston County Sheriff's Department. They refused to comment for this story.

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