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Woman Calls Police on 8 Year Old Girl for Selling Water

I hope she doesn’t find out I used to have lemonade stands without permits as a kid.



A video of a woman calling the police on an 8-year-old girl for selling bottled water went viral. The internet was quick to dub the woman as Permit Patty.

On Friday, 8-year-old Jordan was selling water bottles to help fund a dream vacation in Disneyland in San Francisco outside her family’s apartment building across the AT&T Stadium, where the Giants were playing that day. All of a sudden, Jordan was approached by a woman for a permit. Her mother intervened and pulled out her phone to video.

The mother of the young girl, Erin Austin, posted the video on her Instagram account. In the video, the angry woman, who has been identified as Alison Ettel, can be seen walking away from Austin with her phone to her ear, allegedly speaking to the police.

“This woman don’t want to let a little girl sell some water,” Austin said off-camera as she followed Ettel, who attempted to duck away behind a wall. “You can hide all you want; the whole world gonna see you, boo.”

“Yeah, and illegally selling water without a permit?” Ettel responds.

The video shared on Twitter by the girl’s cousin amassed over 6.5 million views, and the original post by Austin has over 1.1 million views.


According to an interview with Huffington Post, Ettel was only pretending to call the police on the girl, and there was no “racial component” to the incident. Ettel claims the issue was not the act of selling water that bothered her, but that, “They were screaming about what they were selling.”

“It was literally nonstop,” Ettel told Huffington Post. “It was every two seconds, ‘Come and buy my water.’ It was continuous and it wasn’t a soft voice, it was screaming. I had been putting up with this for hours, and I just snapped.”

Ettel also blamed the outburst on work stress. “I was completely stressed out at work and that’s not an excuse.”


Are you looking for digital journalism training and experience? Are you a journalism major who wants to take your career to the next level? CMN’s Digital Journalism course gives you real-time experience, intense feedback on your writing, exposure to journalism influencers and mentors, and a great place to display your work. You can get academic credit too. Check out the Digital Journalism Course here.

Arianna is College Media Network's Weekend Editor and a student at Penn State University. She has written for various websites, including Thought Catalog and The Odyssey Online. Arianna also runs her own blog called Yoga With Mimosas in which she combines her passion for fitness and writing in hopes of inspiring and empowering others through her work.

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