A South Florida man on business in the Tampa Bay area claims he was harassed by Starbucks employees at the company’s Brandon store.
Lorne Green says he’s been to that location before, usually with his white colleague, and never had any problems.
At a news conference on Wednesday, Green explained that his trip to the Starbucks at 2350 West Brandon Boulevard went horribly wrong on April 22.
Green claims he walked in to use the bathroom before placing his order and heard an employee say “the big black guy is headed for the bathroom.”
As Green used the restroom, he told reporters that employees kept banging on the door asking if he needed fire and rescue.
Green called Starbucks corporate to explain what was happening. He recorded that phone call, playing a part of it for reporters Wednesday afternoon.
He said he began to fear for his life when employees said they were calling the police.
“I felt humiliated,” Green said. “Completely defeated. They had wronged me, and now they were going to call the cops on me?”
Hillsborough County deputies arrived and issued him a citation for trespassing, according to Green’s attorney, civil rights lawyer Jasmine Rand.
He was told not to return or he would be arrested.
This is a developing story, please check back for updates.