Karen calls 911 after being denied entry to pet shop over mask, cites Civil Rights Act
A 'Karen' in California's Palm Springs has gone viral in late December 2021, after a store employee uploaded a TikTok of her extreme efforts to enter a pet store. Footage uploaded by Aidan Bearpaw shows the woman calling 911 after she was denied entry, only to be left red-faced after the dispatcher sided with Aidan in the debate. Her rant ended with her leaving the store without buying anything, with the footage racking up millions of views on the app.
As we've extensively covered, "Karens" have become quite a thing at stores across the US. In February, one woman was caught on CCTV at a Colorado supermarket slapping a store worker after being asked to mask up. Then in March, one woman was tackled at a Bath and Body Works store in Arizona after creating a ruckus and even calling another shopper the n-word. In July, Abigail Elphick was dubbed 'Victoria's Secret Karen' over her viral meltdown at a store in New Jersey.
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Most incidents have stemmed from women firmly refusing to mask up, even though it is perfectly legal for businesses to issue mask mandates in most states, whether or not the state has one. It seems this particular Karen in Palm Springs was not aware of that, leading to her being schooled by Aidan and the 911 dispatcher.
Woman claims 'right to breathe O2 not CO2'
The incident took place at a Bones and Scones store in Palm Springs when the woman identified herself as Laura Karowsky was stopped by Aidan outside the store for not having a mask. "I don’t wear a mask because I can’t. I’ll have a panic attack. I will freak out. I’ll have an anxiety attack," she claimed at first, before telling him, "You can either accommodate me by giving me an hour at the end of every day or an hour at the beginning of the day."
However, Aiden was in no mood to bow to her demands and told her to call 911 if she refused to wear the disposable mask he offered. She then calls 911 and tells the dispatcher, "as per the 1964 Civil Rights Act, I do have a right to be able to breathe O2, not CO2, and I am being discriminated against right now at a store." Then Laura says she has a religious exemption and a "God-given right" to be able to breathe.
When Aidan then injects, "I thought it was a medical exemption," Laura adds, "Uh-huh, yes, medical exemption, too." In two subsequent TikToks, Aiden shows how the call went firmly against Laura. She tells the dispatcher she "doesn’t seem to understand that in the end, I’m actually the one with the right." The operator tried several times to explain that Aiden was allowed to deny her service, but Laura firmly refused to believe her.
The encounter ends with Laura giving up and leaving the store, as Aiden says, "God bless you, you are such a wonderful human being." The viral exchange racked up millions of views, as users piled on Laura for her behavior. "911 is not customer service," one user slammed, while another commented, "She sounds so entitled." Another asked, "Who does she think 911 dispatchers are, playground mediators?" Others seemed delighted Laura spelled out her name and number on the video, with many wondering how many calls she was about to receive.