From left to right: Danika Potter, 8, her sister Brigit, 10, and her brother, Corbin, 9
Credits: DAVE THOMAS/QMI AGENCY
A cranky, unidentified woman in an Oshawa neighbourhood called 911 and sicked police on a 9-year-old autistic boy in a bid to shut down his booming lemonade stand Monday.
Worse yet, the officer called to the scene asked the boy's family to stop the fundraiser for SickKids hospital because the boy didn't have a vendor's permit to sling the juice.
"It was upsetting," said Dawn Potter, who said her son, Corbin, was startled by the encounter with the officer.
"By the end of it, he thought I was going to jail, he was balling his eyes out."
Corbin and his sisters have been running a lemonade stand on July 1
for the past three years.
The trio raise money for the hospital where several cousins have received treatment.
But the trouble started when Corbin was holding a sign and shouting to passersby on Bond St. to drum up business.
A neighbour approached, scolded him for shouting and told him he couldn't operate the stand, Potter said.
Later, Corbin went back up the street, this time with his uncle.
The neighbour approached again, this time offering him $5 to go away and take the stand down, Potter said.
"He told her that he didn't want her money, that he wanted to keep doing his thing for SickKids," she said.
Potter said that a short time later a Durham Regional Police officer arrived.
He was polite but asked them to take down the stand, she said.
"We were told it was distracting, too loud and we were disturbing people. It was
2 p.m. We were told we had to stop ... that we didn't have a vendor's permit."
But Potter said she defied the officer, this time taking the sign herself and walking out to the corner to advertise the stand.
In the end, they raised $135.
"How can I teach him to do the right thing no matter what if I don't stand behind him and show him," she said.
Durham Regional Police Sgt. Nancy van Rooy confirmed an officer was called to the lemonade stand around 2 p.m. Monday after a woman from the neighbourhood called 911.
She was reportedly concerned for the safety of the children after hearing screams.
When the officer arrived, he found the lemonade stand and a child running up the sidewalk "screaming," but van Rooy denied the officer ordered the stand shuttered.
"We don't shut down lemonade stands," she said. "No one was ticketed, no one was cautioned or arrested, it was only one officer at the scene and that is the extent of what took place."