Man claims ageism after being banned from Starbucks for hitting on teen barista

KREM 2's Alexa Block explains how one 37-year-old man's Facebook post went viral after he asked out a 16-year-old barista and was banned from Starbucks. (12-30-16)

SPOKANE, Wash. -- A Spokane man took to Facebook after he was banned from a Spokane Starbucks.

The man, who we will not identify due to the fact he has not been charged with a crime, said last week he was at Starbucks on Main Street in Downtown Spokane. He said wrote a note asking out a barista. He said she is 16 years old. He is 37 years old.

“I was flirted with by a barista. For some reason she thought I was funny. Said I was funny. So I gave her a note to see if she'd be interested in dinner,” said the man in a public Facebook post that has since gone viral, with almost 4,500 shares and almost 3,000 likes.

He said he went into the same Starbucks the next day and a Spokane Police officer told him he was banned from that Starbucks location.  Apparently, Starbucks management thought something in the note was inappropriate enough to get the police involved.

“I know the female Starbucks barista was of legal age to date. I broke no laws. I merely took a chance with my heart. I'm tired of hearing the word "creep" as any black person or gay person is tired of hearing certain words. I have a whole webpage dedicated to age gap love,” said the man.

He said he feels he is being discriminated against because of his age. He asked his Facebook friends to call and complain to Starbucks.

But his call-to-action was met with some strong opposition.

Many people commented on Starbucks' page applauding them for banning the man. Others commented on their own personal experience in the service industry. Even people who don't go to Starbucks commented in support of the ban.

And the conversation reached far beyond Spokane. People commented from Texas, Pennsylvania and Massachusetts. And internationally as well, from Canada, Mexico and even the UK.

A Starbucks spokesperson said the company supports how management handled this situation.

"We have no tolerance for any such inappropriate behavior or harassment, and we will continue to support our store partners and local authorities investigating the situation," said the Starbucks spokesperson.

But Starbucks did get some criticism on their page. One person said tossing him out was a little rash, and it seems excessive.

Spokane Police said any business has a right to refuse service to anyone for however long they choose. So Starbucks was legally allowed to ban the man from that location.  

(© 2017 KREM)


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