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CT Coffee Shop Owner Calls 18-Year-Old A ‘Faggot’ Over Dunkin’ Donuts Cup

I’m sure Scott Lively wouldn’t have thrown 18-year-old Spencer Deane out of his coffee shop — but that’s because Lively gives his java away for free. Deane’s problem with the owner of Javapalooza coffeeshop in Middletown, Connecticut, began when he brought a Dunkin’ Donuts cup into the shop. Fast-forward to “faggot” being thrown around and protests from the local gays.

Deane says he complied with the request from Javapalooza owner Neil Dinerman, 63, to either leave or throw out the cup; Dinerman stood by while Deane finished the coffee and tossed it. And then things went awry.

“As I was sitting down, he grabbed me by the shirt, and you know, pulled me up towards him …” and started pushing him toward the door, Deane said. “He kept calling me a faggot, like kind of whispering it to me. Like, ‘dick-sucking faggot,’ things like that.”

Once out on the street, the confrontation continued, and one of Deane’s friends tried to defend him verbally. Deane claims there have been similar run-ins between Dinerman and his friend, also involving a cup of Dunkin’ Donuts coffee and homophobic slurs. Deane says no one was seriously hurt during the confrontation.

What was Dinerman’s problem? He thought Deane was being disrespectful and claims the young man was “laughing at me” while he finished his drink. So that makes it okay to call him a faggot? No: “I think the slurs that I used are inexcusable … I just blew up when they laughed at me. I’m not making any excuses.” But he says there was no physical altercation, and while Deane filed a police report later on with his father, he didn’t seek to press charges against Dinerman, meaning the police’s involvement ends there. Dinerman also claims he didn’t know Deane is gay, and his word choice — while poor — wasn’t motivated by hate. Uh huh.

Enter Queer Liberation Front, which hosted a 60-person rally in front of the store last weekend after the incident, and convinced Dinerman to hold a a LBGT “teach-in” at the cafe. Dinerman also met the group’s request for a written apology, but balked at their demand for a $1k contribution to Cyndi Lauper’s charity of choice True Colors. Dinerman and QLF are going to meet again on Sunday to see if they can reach more common ground.

But in the meantime, expect Javapalooza to be the straightest cafe in town: Deane and his gay friends won’t be stopping by.

By:           Ryan Tedder
On:           Feb 8, 2011
Tagged: , , ,
  • 45 Comments
    • justiceontherocks
      justiceontherocks

      Why is the kid bringing a competitor’s product into the coffee shop? That would piss me off too.

      No excuse for the language or the kid’s disrespectful behavior.

      Feb 8, 2011 at 12:35 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Josh
      Josh

      Agreed with the previous poster. The guy was obviously in the wrong for using such offensive language (and for being so weirdly aggressive), but the kid was rude to bring in a competitor’s coffee cup into Dinerman’s establishment.

      Feb 8, 2011 at 12:40 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Kev C
      Kev C

      I hear their Steaming Bile-Mint Espresso is delish.

      Feb 8, 2011 at 12:58 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Thomas
      Thomas

      Yeah, so this guy claims there have been “similar run-ins” under the same scenario…so basically, he went in there to try to get a repeat performance. No excuse for the business owner, but the “victim” seems like a total jackass.

      Feb 8, 2011 at 1:24 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Cam
      Cam

      Look, I think what the guy said was terrible…HOWEVER…

      The kid said there have been similar run in’s before, so he was purposely going into the store with a cup from a competitor and seeming to try to create an incident. Seems kind of uncool, I like my local coffee shops and wouldn’t insult them by going in there with a Dunkin or Starbucks cup, much like I wouldn’t purposely go into a Dunkin Doughnuts store with a box of Crispy Creams.

      Feb 8, 2011 at 2:17 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • JAW
      JAW

      WOW… so far it seems that we all think the kid was more the asshole… we might set a new record of agreement here… I hope Lucky #7 poster agrees also

      Feb 8, 2011 at 2:30 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Andrew
      Andrew

      Haha, well as that “lucky” #7 I also agree.

      Like others have said, the language and altercation definitely were not okay. But it seems to me like this guy was trying to start something, so he was at least asking for some hostility.

      Feb 8, 2011 at 3:23 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Paul in Canada
      Paul in Canada

      I agree – the kid was looking for trouble. Someday, we’ll ALL learn to be more respectful of each other and act with dignity.

      Feb 8, 2011 at 3:58 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Francis
      Francis

      Yeah, the kid sounds like an ass, but the old homophobe coffee owner definitely needed to have his hate highlighted and exposed and handled accordingly, so I feel no sympathy whatsoever for him.

      Feb 8, 2011 at 4:28 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • JAW
      JAW

      Yes the owner was wrong… even he admitted that and agreed to have a teach in.

      The other question I had was… how did the owner know the kid was gay?

      sounds like the kid was invoking the gay stereotyping to add to the issue.

      Feb 8, 2011 at 4:36 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • adman
      adman

      Sometimes two people are assholes, and their assholish nature initiates an escalating asshole battle. I note the assholes usually but sometimes one gets under my radar and I am dealing with an asshole, with the imperative being to do anything but undergoing “asshole transformation” as a defense. Whatever I do, it doesn’t change the asshole though. Take notes, move on.

      Feb 8, 2011 at 4:49 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Trieste
      Trieste

      LOL. Look at the doofs with the rainbow flags. (Save your protests for serious stuff, dopes).

      Feb 8, 2011 at 4:49 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Kev C
      Kev C

      @JAW: He didn’t know the kid was gay. “Dick sucking faggot” is just something that popped out of his mouth.

      Feb 8, 2011 at 5:11 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • R
      R

      It’s very possible that the owner didn’t know the kid was gay. I’ve heard straight guys use such slurs against other straight guys before. It doesn’t make such slurs acceptable to use, but I do think it’s possible that the guy is telling the truth about that.

      Feb 8, 2011 at 6:27 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • scott ny'er
      scott ny'er

      was there a sign saying, no food or drink to from outside brought in? If there wasn’t, then whatever. If the kid was going to buy something from the coffee shop but wanted to hold on to his cup of Dunkin Donuts coffee who cares. If he was just going to sit there with a competitors coffee, well that’s different.

      Feb 8, 2011 at 6:38 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Casey
      Casey

      Gay people are so radical.

      Feb 8, 2011 at 6:41 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • TommyOC
      TommyOC

      Two problems:

      1) “Dinerman also claims he didn’t know Deane is gay, and his word choice — while poor — wasn’t motivated by hate. Uh huh.”

      The writer of this post assumes that there must be no way Dinerman *didn’t* know the guy’s sexual orientation. As if all us gays act a certain identifiable, unmistakable way. Way to keep up the stereotypes, yo.

      2) QLF’s response: You got your written apology and your “teach-in,” whatever the hell that is, and now you want him to donate money? I’m all against hateful speech, but in this country that’s your right… and you don’t pay a literal fine when you use it!

      Since when did we turn into opportunistic extortionists?

      —-

      And finally… I would be pissed if someone were to come into my business and disrespect me and the way I choose to run it. If Dinerman’s contestation that this punk laughed at him while finishing his bought-elsewhere cup is true, then I can see how bullying this kid out the door would be a course of action I myself would take. Do I agree with his word choice? Absolutely not. But we reach for the weapons closest to us… and unfortunately it doesn’t look like Dinerman’s arsenal is very large.

      Feb 8, 2011 at 7:11 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Devon
      Devon

      “Enter Queer Liberation Front,”

      Really, this is a thing? Good lord.

      “which hosted a 60-person rally in front of the store last weekend after the incident, and convinced Dinerman to hold a a LBGT “teach-in” at the cafe.”

      Wow…That sure sounds like a good old time right there. Certainly not obnoxious and reactionary either. Nope.

      “Dinerman also met the group’s request for a written apology, but balked at their demand for a $1k contribution to Cyndi Lauper’s charity of choice True Colors. Dinerman and QLF are going to meet again on Sunday to see if they can reach more common ground.”

      Shaking my head so hard right now.

      Feb 8, 2011 at 7:21 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • ewe
      ewe

      Is the young guy a gay man? It would be more insulting if so. I never forgot the time i would not give someone money as i was coming out of the subway. He said something to me so i told him to fuck the fuck off and go bother someone else. I was not in the mood and i guess i had a bad day. After all one should be very nice if you are asking for a hand out of any sort i feel. He started following me into the street. Of course he was rude in return and i admit so was i and then he called me a faggot. I smiled and it must have sent him the message that i was not offended. He then called me a pussy so i told him he should take a look in the damn mirror at the color of his skin before he puts down any other fucking minorities. He then called me a cocksucker and switched back to faggot. I left that incident wondering if ignorant straight guys like this cafe owner oaf thinks faggot and cocksucker is more derogatory a term than pussy? And to think he thought i was gonna then open up my pockets and disperse cash for someone the likes of him is even more odd. I would have let him suck my dick for 20 roses. lol. ONLY KIDDING!!!

      Feb 8, 2011 at 8:23 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • ewe
      ewe

      Has anyone else ever noticed that you can say faggot and cocksucker and a host of other words here on Queerty but never ever the P word that means kitty cat?

      Feb 8, 2011 at 8:30 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • rusk
      rusk

      My parents have a donut shop where there is a Starbucks across the street. So very frequently many of our customers are ordering their stuff with a Starbucks coffee in hand, and it doesn’t bother us one bit. The story doesn’t give too much detail. If the kid didn’t buy anything and just used Dinerman’s establishment to drink the competitor’s coffee in, then yes the Kid had it coming. If the kid was with his friends who bought something from Dinerman, then Dinerman overreacted. Although I will agree Dinerman’s actions were very very wrong.

      Feb 8, 2011 at 9:40 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Mustache Mug
      Mustache Mug

      I am surprised the owner would even do that being a “business owner”. Money is money regardless of who spends it. The kid however is just waiting to get his lunch money stolen.

      Feb 8, 2011 at 9:44 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • CaliberGuy
      CaliberGuy

      The word choices of the owner where bad, but the kid was fishing for trouble. Who brings a competitor’s product like coffee into another coffee shop to drink? Then laughs at and gives lip to the owner when the rightfully tell you to toss it or leave and finish outside of the shop. The kids and his friends sound like disrespectful little punks. They certainly don’t have my sympathy.

      Feb 8, 2011 at 11:21 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Redickk
      Redickk

      Groups like Queer Liberation Front make gay men look like genuine “fags” if you go by the definition of it meaning “weakling” or “coward.” They’re harassing this doughnut shop owner, for a non-incident, in a safe white nighborhood because they know nothing will hapen to them. When a homophobic assault happens in an African-American neighborhood they hide under their beds.

      Feb 8, 2011 at 11:26 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Robbie K
      Robbie K

      What happens at a “teach in?”..sounds gay.
      Hey Queer Liberation Front waste of time called they said get real!!

      Feb 9, 2011 at 12:20 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Tom
      Tom

      The irony! A gay group that calls itself “queer” is protesting the use of the word “faggot”. That’s the logic of political correctness.

      Anyway, I agree with everyone above. The kid was a bit of a jackass, but that’s forgivable for an 18 yo. The owner was wrong to use the slur, but he has made amends, and most importantly, he now gets that anti-gay slurs are not freebies and will cost him in terms of business and reputation. Unless there is some evidence that this guy discriminates or has a history of homophobia, I think it should end there w/no coerced donation.

      Feb 9, 2011 at 12:43 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • skzip888
      skzip888

      If someone brings a competitors cup into your hallowed establishment, ask them to leave or refuse to serve them. Save the Gordon Ramsey crap for your underpaid line cooks.

      Feb 9, 2011 at 1:11 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • kyals84
      kyals84

      why does everyone think he was in the wrong bringing a competitors coffee inside? His friend was with him, maybe he friend was buying a coffee there? Maybe they like the sandwiches, or cookies? Screw brand loyalty there is no reason someone should be kicked out for having a competitor product as long as they are still a buying custom to some extent. This owner was an idiot.

      Feb 9, 2011 at 3:12 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • chpinnlr
      chpinnlr

      @kyals84: As a small business owner myself, i have to side with the business owner. The kid was asking for trouble and surprise surprise he got it! It is almost impossible in this day and age to keep a small business afloat, when you are being surrounded by large Corporations taking business at every turn. The last thing you need is someone in your business, basically advertizing for your largest cometitor. Also, I spend more time in my store than i do in my house, so for me it’s home, and I expect my customers to act like they are in my home when they are at my store. Rude behavior is unacceptable, from both parties!

      Feb 9, 2011 at 10:04 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • chpinnlr
      chpinnlr

      @kyals84: Taking a dunkin donuts coffee into a Starbucks, probably wouldn’t be an issue, but taking it into a small independenly owned business was just stupid and rude! Most neighborhood are loosing great small businesses every day thanks to Large corporations under cutting them at every turn, and the neighborhood are worse off for it! Small business owners care not just about their own business but the condition and stae of the businesses around them. They know that if their neighbor is sucessful they will be more sucessful also, and vice versa. Large corporations could give a good shit about anything but the bottom line. I am sure you don’t care about the plight of the small business owner, most people don’t give it any thought, But when your neighborhood is full nothing but vacant storefronts and walmarts/starbucks/mcdonald/dunkin donuts you might miss having a great little neighborhood coffee shop to go to.

      Feb 9, 2011 at 10:13 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • scott ny'er
      scott ny'er

      @chpinnlr: to be fair: Not all small biz owners are sunny and welcoming with open arms. Sometimes, the small business is not better but maybe way worse than a large corporate chain, in attitude, customer service and product.

      I don’t know you but I’m sensing a chip on your shoulder from the encroachment of the chain stores. And quite possible that edge in your tone comes across softly or loudly in your establishment and really, your customer, may not want to deal with it or react as the kid did.

      There are several case scenarios that could’ve happened between that owner and the customer. It’s easy to jump to conclusions on both sides.

      Feb 9, 2011 at 10:59 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • JAW
      JAW

      @kyals84:

      u are too funny… I guess that when you go out to a bar, you bring your favorite 6 pack of beer, since the bar does not carry that brand.

      I could understand if the kid brought a doughnut in to enjoy with your coffee, since that coffee shop does not carry them. But even doing that is a bit rude.

      The kid went in there looking for trouble… and for those people trying to blackmail the owner to pay up is as bad, if not worse.

      Feb 9, 2011 at 11:06 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Kev C
      Kev C

      But how far can you take this type of business behavior? You can’t enter this clothing store because you’re wearing a big name competitor’s clothes? If I got treated that way, I would never return to their store.

      And frankly, Dinerman should consider himself lucky to be uninjured, because some people will fight back when grabbed and pushed around.

      Feb 9, 2011 at 12:33 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • DR
      DR

      @TommyOC:

      The last part of your post was what bugged me the most about this situation. the QLF (trying hard not to laugh) actually tried to extort a thousand bucks out of this guy to stop protesting? And when he didn’t capitulate, they demanded another meeting?

      Huh?!?

      He held a teach in, met with the group, has issued a very public apology, what else do they want? If I were him, I’d slam the door in their faces the next time they tried to bully me around.

      Feb 9, 2011 at 12:51 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • JAW
      JAW

      @Kev C: LOL… get Real

      bringing food and/or drink into a business then taking up a table or a seat that my keep a paying customer from being able to sit is not even close to your example. The coffee house sells coffe the seats are for those that buy their coffee, not for aholes like spencer to cause trouble “again”

      If a clothing store offers seating, it is with the hope that if u have a place to rest your sorry ass kev, your friend may make a purchase.

      Kev, you sound like you could be one of the guys that never buys a drink in a bar or club, then bitches because they have a cover charge. Coffeehouses bars etc are a business, not a non-profit social club.

      The Owner allowed spencer to finish his drink. The article leads me to believe that spencer “tossed” the cup on the floor, or other non-proper place. Yes the owner is an ahole… or at least spencer brings that out of him.

      If we expect to be treated with dignity and respect, then we need to do the same and not be aholes like spencer.

      Feb 9, 2011 at 1:20 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Resist
      Resist

      I wouldn’t give that clownish group one cent. Besides, if you look at their site, you’ll suspect the money will be given to one of their pro-Palestinian causes anyway. (And wouldn’t you just LOVE to see them try to pull this crap amongst the Palestinians?)

      Feb 9, 2011 at 1:22 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • chpinnlr
      chpinnlr

      @scott ny’er: No chip, fortunatly what I do, can’t be done at a large chain store. As far as my customers go every one is welcomed as a guest in my store/home, until they cross a line, my rule is if you wouldn’t do it in my living room don’t do it in my store. My concern isn’t for my business that has grown each of the last 16 years, it’s for my friends and neighbors that haven’t been so lucky. Bottom line is the kid was rude and wrong, the business owner handled it poorly.

      Feb 9, 2011 at 1:24 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • scott ny'er
      scott ny'er

      @chpinnlr: Cool. I don’t think it’s as cut/dried as some peeps here think it is. Continued good luck with your biz.

      Feb 9, 2011 at 1:44 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Kev C
      Kev C

      The owner sounds like he’s hyper-caffeinated and should mellow out. Try some decaf and some meditation. HEY YOU KIDS! HEY YOU COCKSUCKER! GET OUT OF MY STORE! AND DON’T COME BACK!

      Feb 9, 2011 at 2:52 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • JAW
      JAW

      I just looked at the QLF web site and saw how crazy those folks seem to be. Sad that they are seen as spokesperson for all of The Good Gay and Lesbian people out there. They have a meeting this coming sunday 1/13… and one of the topics that may be up for discussion is…
      “Should we engage in civil disobedience?”

      This group is a joke… Sounds like the QLF would have been ok if the Owner had called the kid a ignorant queer… They seem to like the word queer (I DO NOT… I find that as bad as the F word) and since they identify as queer, they would not have any recourse at all.
      or would they not be happy with that word either?

      They need to stop the Bulling and move on

      Feb 9, 2011 at 4:20 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Walter Glenn
      Walter Glenn

      ” “GET INFORMED”

      Fifth Amendment Rights on Self Incrimination

      How many times have you heard “If he didn’t do anything, then he’s got nothing to hide!” or “She’s ‘taking the fifth’ so she must be guilty.” Each time I hear statements like these I cringe, and we appear to be bombarded with this nonsense on a regular basis from as far away as Hollywood, to as close as a local radio talk show program, its host, regular callers and those pesky yet loyal FTLT’ers. The reality is, the Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution may well be the most powerful defense a person has available and there is absolutely no shame in flexing that muscle.

      Our Fifth Amendment, along with nine other amendments, collectively, the Bill of Rights was ratified on December 15, 1791. Its roots run deep, finding connections with the Magna Carter, signed in 1215.

      Specifically with regard to our right to keep silent it states that no one “shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself…” and believe it or not, the right was designed to protect INNOCENT people. Justice Robert Jackson, a former prosecutor, General Counsel for the Bureau of Internal Revenue, the Securities and Exchange Commission, Assistant US Attorney General and he was even the chief prosecutor for the Nuremburg Trials, said while sitting as a Justice of the United States Supreme Court “any lawyer worth his salt will tell a suspect in no uncertain terms to make no statements to the police under any circumstances.”

      The truth is, we have no way of knowing whether any statement made to the police might at some point be looked upon by a prosecutor as relevant in some other proceeding. Further to the point, it is my experience that clients tend to get somewhat exuberant in professing their innocence to the police and that such exuberance leads to flat out lying. That’s dangerous. Just ask Jeffrey Scott Hornoff. As you know he was a Warwick, RI police officer who was found guilty of murder. He spent six years in prison for a crime he did not commit. Had it not been for the murderer’s guilty conscience, Mr. Hornoff might still be in prison. The point is that Mr. Hornoff lied to the police during their investigation of a murder making it likely that he was convicted based upon his lie rather than the evidence. Had he just remained silent, the prosecution could not have damaged his credibility with his own contradictory statements. After all, if he lied about his relationship with the victim, then the jury surely could have seen him capable of lying about committing murder!

      Moreover, our Constitution makes it difficult to convict someone of a crime. It should! We live in a free society and we value our freedom so much that we’ve developed a system that places 100% of the burden on the prosecution when the state tries to take away that freedom. Why make it easy? In any event, prosecuting someone takes time. Why rush into an admission by speaking with the police? There’s plenty of time for that. That time also provides the accused with the opportunity to speak with counsel. Only then, should a person make an admission and certainly only in the event that the evidence makes a conviction likely.

      Remember if you’ve been arrested remain silent! You may find it difficult to do so because the police are very good at cajoling suspects into making statements, and quite frankly the innocent suspect will undoubtedly want to convince the police out of making an arrest or filing charges. When was the last time you heard of someone who was able to convince the police not to arrest the suspect based solely on the suspect’s own protestations. Never.

      I hope this essay has been helpful. “

      Feb 13, 2011 at 9:09 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • gretchen
      gretchen

      fr justiceontherocks:

      >Why is the kid bringing a competitor’s product into the coffee shop? That would piss me off too.
      No excuse for the language or the kid’s disrespectful behavior.<

      Mr. Dean's behavior was NOT "disrespectful". Maybe he just happened to have the other cup handy and didn't want to use another one and trash the environment. What the coffee shop "owner" did was completely inappropriate, and I hope his joint goes under.

      Feb 14, 2011 at 12:24 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • JAW
      JAW

      @gretchen:
      As you stated… the kid pissed the Owner off. The Owner chose a name that most of us hate and find offensive.

      Would we be upset if the owner had called the kid a Queer?

      The reason I ask, is due to the fact that the group that the kid has helping him identifies as Queer (The Queer Liberation Front).
      Can, or perhaps How Can, we get upset with people who call us a name that some of the minority identify as?

      Feb 15, 2011 at 10:09 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Kade Madison
      Kade Madison

      Oh, and right away every fag has to run and “protest”. How about all of you shut up. No one cares who you sleep with or whose dick you suck. And by the way. I am gay. I am 45 years old. Been gay as long as I can remember and have always felt that most gay men are on the “cause” bandwagon for the wrong reasons. They only thing you should care about is being able to marry, other than that, sit down, and shut up because you are no different than any other human being just because you are gay. And that kid needs to be taught a lesson.

      Feb 25, 2011 at 12:49 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • TimeToLook
      TimeToLook

      Kade : I think most every comment agreed with that already.

      Feb 25, 2011 at 1:07 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·

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