White woman charged with assaulting black teen at swimming pool
A white woman dubbed “Pool Patrol Paula” on social media has been charged with assaulting a black teenager at a community pool in South Carolina.
Stephenie Sebby-Strempel, 38, allegedly confronted a 15-year-old boy and his friends at a community pool in Summerville, S.C., on Sunday, CBS affiliate WCSC reported.
Sebby-Strempel reportedly told them they “didn’t belong” there and had to leave, according to the incident report.
The teenagers began collecting their things and started to leave, a victim told police. Sebby-Strempel, however, allegedly began calling them “punks” and using racial slurs.
The incident was captured on video and was posted to Facebook by user Rhe Capers on Sunday. It has been viewed more than 1 million times as of Friday morning.
The video shows Sebby-Strempel threatening to call the police and telling the teenagers to “get out!”
It appears to also show her reaching for the camera before the video abruptly cuts off. She allegedly struck the teenager at least three times.
Sebby-Strempel was later charged with one count of third-degree assault and battery and two counts of assaulting, beating or wounding a police officer while resisting arrest, according to court documents.
When Dorchester County Sheriff’s Office detectives attempted to serve Sebby-Strempel with an arrest warrant on Monday, she allegedly bit one detective and pushed another into the wall, WCSC reported.
A judge set a surety bond of $65,000 on Tuesday for Sebby-Strempel.
She is also prohibited from contacting the victims in any way, including electronically.
The victim’s mother, Deanna RocQuermore, told the outlet that the incident should have never happened. The victims told CBS they do not live in the community where the pool was located but were invited to use the pool by someone who does.
“No child including mine or anybody else’s ever, ever, deserves that type of abuse or treatment,” RocQuermore said. “And to be struck not once, not twice, but three times by someone that is upset because of the color of someone’s skin, and they don’t belong at their swimming pool.”
She also applauded her son for showing self-control during the altercation.
“I think in this situation — he’s seen how these situations go. We’ve seen exactly the opposite of what could happen if you attempt to defend yourself or act in any way that could be perceived as defending yourself,” his attorney Marvin Pendarvis said.
Sebby-Strempel’s attorney said at her bail hearing on Tuesday that there are two sides to every story.
CBS News reported that Sebby-Strempel has been terminated as an independent consultant with skincare company Rodan + Fields.
“After assessing statements from law enforcement and determining that this former Independent Consultant’s actions violate our policies, she is no longer affiliated with Rodan + Fields,” the company said in a statement.
The video sparked outrage online, the latest in a series of widely publicized incidents caught on video.
Two black men were arrested in a Philadelphia Starbucks in April for sitting in the cafe without ordering anything.
A white resident nicknamed online as “Barbecue Becky” called police on a black family who were setting up a charcoal grill in a public park.
A viral video from earlier this month showed a white woman dubbed “Permit Patty” calling 911 on a black girl selling bottled water in San Francisco.