A Florida woman and her children were denied service at a Disney World hotel, and when she asked why she was not allowed to stay there, the mother was shocked by the response.
Tammy Lemasters was eventually told that the hotel would not serve her because her driver’s license listed her as a sexual predator, the New York Daily News reported. Lemasters has no history of such crime.
“I was afraid to drive in my car,” Lemasters told The Associated Press. “I was afraid of getting pulled over. I was afraid of the kids being in the car.”
Lemasters said she planned to file a lawsuit against the Lake County Tax Collector’s office for defamation after a computer glitch reportedly caused the phrase “sexual predator” to appear on her license, the Daily News reported.
“It reminds me of the book, ‘The Scarlet Letter,'” Lemasters’ attorney, John Phillips, said. “She walked around with that on her license, not knowing where it had been reported. This is completely, completely avoidable by just putting in some sort of default on the computer.”
Phillips said an office clerk accidentally checked the field for “sexual predator” rather than “organ donor” when entering Lemasters’ information on a computer.
“That’s just preposterous,” Phillips said. “I’d be willing to bet it’s happened hundreds of hundreds of times.”
Lemasters was detained at Disney World for three hours while employees contacted authorities, according to the Orlando Sentinel.
According to David Jordan, the manager of the Lake County Tax Collector’s office, the confusion occurred as a result of human error, but Jordan described the employee who made the error as a “top-notch” worker, Daily News reported.
“We made a mistake. Period,” Jordan said. “We feel horrible. It totally stinks it happens. Everybody involved feels terrible. We offer our apologies. We offered it immediately.”
Lemasters said she hadn’t previously realized that her license identified her as a sexual predator.
“They asked me to check my name and address, and that’s what I checked,” she said, the Orlando Sentinel reported. “The sexual-predator box is in the lower corner, and she had her finger there. I just took it and put it in my wallet. No one checks for ‘sexual predator’ on your license.”
Phillips said the goal of Lemasters’ lawsuit was not to be paid, but rather to prevent the issue from affecting others. He said that if the agency agreed to make changes in its system to prevent the problem from reoccurring, the lawsuit would not be filed.
Sources: New York Daily News, Orlando Sentinel, The Associated Press via The San Diego Union-Tribune / Featured Image: Pixabay / Embedded Images: New York Daily News, WESH via New York Daily News