It can’t be easy being Richard Ramey.
The Atlanta business owner has seen more than his fair share of bizarre assaults on his various businesses over the years, including unprovoked police raids, break-ins, and, most recently, a woman peeing in the middle of his flower shop.
The incident happened at East Point Flower Cottage on Main located in the East Point neighborhood of Atlanta. Ramey has been a business owner in the area for more than 25 years.
“She was saying she needed a restroom right now and she didn’t make it,” Ramey told local news station WSB. “I mean, it was right in my showroom floor. It was very humiliating for her. I felt really bad for her.”
Another time, Ramey says, a woman passed out in his bathroom.
“We had one lady who went in there and she O.D.’d on something, so I had call police to come get her out.”
All of this, he claims, is the result of a nearby bus station closing its restrooms, leaving desperate travelers in need of a toilet with virtually nowhere to go.
“I don’t really have a public restroom,” Ramey said, regretfully, “and so trying to accommodate them is sort of a burden on my business.”
Other business owners claim they regularly see riders dash from the station over to a patch of nearby bushes where they relieve themselves. Signs within the station warn that the building is “armed with a urine detection device.”
“It’s a very sad situation because these people come in out of desperation,” Ramey says.
The transit authority, however, has no sympathy. In a statement to WSB, it said:
Unlike most major transit systems, MARTA has a total of 13 restrooms open for our customers at the end-of-line rail stations and major transfer points. A number of remaining restrooms were closed several years ago for staffing and budgetary reasons, including East Point. To enhance comfort and convenience, MARTA is now exploring new technology to make more restrooms available to customers in the near future.
But this is only one of many grievances Ramey has suffered in recent years.
In addition to the flower shop, which provides beautiful arrangements for local churches, weddings, and the Children’s Miracle Network, he’s also co-owner of Atlanta’s Eagle bar.
In 2009, the bar was raided by a gang or rogue police officers in an unprovoked, Stonewall-style sting operation. The highly publicized raid was later deemed illegal and motivated be bigotry. Six officers were fired and taxpayers ended up paying nearly $3 million as a result, both in settlement fees and attorney fees for the city.
In 2011, a band of thieves broke into the bar through an exhaust fan and stole three bottles of alcohol, which paled in comparison to the police raid, but was still annoying.
Then earlier this year, the building that houses the Eagle was sold to a developer, resulting in Ramey and friends holding hands outside the doors in an effort to save their beloved bar.
Through all this, though, Ramey seems to be keeping a positive attitude, happily posting pictures of his flower bouquets on Facebook and helping couples pick arrangements for their wedding ceremonies.
It’s just unfortunate, he says, that the closed bathrooms at the bus station are such a “blemish on our city.”
H/T: Project Q