'Permit Patty' Calls Police on Girl Selling Water in San Francisco

By RJ Johnson - @rickerthewriter

June 24, 2018

Social media was in an uproar this weekend after video surfaced online of a white woman calling police on an 8-year-old girl selling water outside her apartment building in San Francisco, in an incident much like one last April with 'BBQ Becky.'  

The video posted to Instagram by ladyesowavy showed the woman apparently calling police on the young entrepreneur. 

"An 8-year-old selling water in front of her apartment building where she's lived her whole life is NOT a reason to call the Police," the caption under the video read, identifying the woman as 'Permit Patty.'

The girls mother confronted the woman on the phone while taping the encounter.

"This woman don't wanna let a little girl sell some water. She's calling police on an 8-year-old little girl... you can hide all you want," the mother can be heard saying in the video. 

Realizing she was being recorded, 'Permit Patty' tries ducking down behind a column to get out of sight. The woman follows her and continues recording. 

"And illegally selling water without a permit?" the woman on the phone responds. 

"On my property," the girl's mother says. 

"Its not your property," she responds.

The woman, identified as Alison Ettel by the Huffington Post, said there was no racial component to the situation and claims she only "pretended" to call the police after building's security refused to intervene. 

“They were screaming about what they were selling,” she said. “It was literally nonstop. It was every two seconds, ‘Come and buy my water.’ It was continuous and it wasn’t a soft voice, it was screaming.”

Ettel says the windows to her office were open and that it was too hot to close them, and it wouldn't have shut out the noise anyway. She says that after putting up with the screaming for hours, she just snapped and had to call police to get them to stop. 

A cousin of the little girl selling the water said on Twitter thanked her family's supporters, saying the incident happened near AT&T Park and that her mom would be pressing charges for harassment. 

"My family thanks you all for the funny comments memes & words of encouragement," she wrote on Twitter. "My little cousin is doing okay for those who are asking and her mom is going to be pressing charges for harassment. "

The video is reminiscent of another that went viral in April in which a white woman in the Bay Area called police on a black family for attempting to set up a grill in an Oakland park. 

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