Rodan + Fields fires woman dubbed 'Pool Patrol Paula' after alleged assault on black teens at pool
“In accordance with our policies and after assessing statements from law enforcement, this Independent Consultant is no longer affiliated with Rodan + Fields,” a company representative wrote to Yahoo Lifestyle.
Stephanie Sebby-Strempel, 38, was arrested and jailed Monday after accosting a group of black teens at a Summerville, S.C.-area pool on Sunday and allegedly hitting a 15-year-old. “Get out! Get out now!” she yells in a video shot by one of the kids. “There are three numbers I can dial: 9-1-1. Get out. Little punks,” she said while swatting the camera.
Upon sight, Sebby-Strempel had ordered the kids to leave the pool. The young victim said the teens were “respectful and said, ‘Yes, ma’am.’” The woman then hit one of the boys at least three times as he left, according to various reports.
The video of the incident has been viewed more than 655K times on Facebook.
Photo: Dorchester County Detention Center
Dorchester County Police say that when deputies visited the woman’s home on Monday, she pushed one against a wall, hurting his knee, and bit a second officer on the arm, breaking the skin. Sebby-Strempel was charged with third-degree assault, the New York Post reported, and two counts of assaulting an officer while resisting arrest.
When internet sleuths discovered that Sebby-Strempel works for the popular direct-sales company Rodan + Fields, many called for her dismissal.
On Tuesday, Rodan + Fields responded to one critical tweet by writing, “We do not condone violence of any kind and pride ourselves on embracing inclusion and acceptance of all. Please note, this person is not a Rodan + Fields employee, but an Independent Contractor. We are reaching out to this individual to reiterate our corporate values.”
The message didn’t go over well, and many felt the statement was too lenient.
The hashtag #PoolPatrolPaula is the newest in a trend of tweets that publicly out apparent acts of racism. This week, Alison Ettel, CEO of cannabis startup TreatWell Health in San Francisco, stepped down from her role after video surfaced of her threatening to call the police on 8-year-old Jordan Rodgers, who was selling water on the sidewalk near AT&T Park.
Dubbed #PermitPatty, Ettel was scorned online and later told the Huffington Post there was “no racial component” to her threat and that she was only “pretending” to call the police.
And in May, an Oakland, Calif., woman named Jennifer Schulte who encountered a group of black people barbecuing in Lake Merritt Park and called the police to report them for allegedly ignoring a “No charcoal grills” sign was also outed online. The police did not make any arrests, and later, hundreds of people threw a barbecue party in the park in protest.
Read more from Yahoo Lifestyle:
- Woman says American Airlines called police on her for ‘flying while fat and black’
- ‘Swimming while black:’ A woman and her 5-year-old daughter faced harassment at an L.A. hotel pool
- Woman Unleashes Racist Tirade on Asian Nail Salon Owner: ‘Your Language Sounds Nasty’