Wednesday, December 17, 2014

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NY1 For You: Police Are Sour On Queens Girls' Lemonade Stand

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Setting up a lemonade stand left a serious sour taste in the mouths of a couple of Queens kids after the police got involved. NY1's Susan Jhun filed the following report.

A little lemonade stand was a sweet summer pastime for 9-year-old Nora and 11-year-old Jameala Lahoud, until the two Queens girls got ticketed by the police.

"One jar of lemonade and a few cups and that's it," says Michael Lahoud, the girls' father.

Apparently, that was enough for a police officer to write two tickets to the family: one for selling without a vendor's license and another for obstructing the flow of vehicular traffic.

Michael Lahoud says the day the tickets were issued for his daughter's stand there was a vendor across the street from his house at the beach selling drinks and blocking traffic.

"Neighbors were complaining. They called the police because he was obstructing traffic," he says.

That is when Lahoud says the police came, let the vendor off because he had a vendor's license but ticketed him for his daughter's lemonade stand.

Lahoud says what bothers him the most about the ticket is not the money but the message it sends to his daughters.

"They were afraid at first. They thought they were in trouble and that was what upset me the most," he says.

NY1 called the Department Of Health and a spokesman said the agency's bottom line is public health and ideally anybody who is working with food needs a permit. However, he said the DOH would not go out of its way to follow up on something like a lemonade stand.

NY1 then called the NYPD and asked a spokesman whether the agency would dismiss the summons. The spokesman said that is up to the courts, but went on to say in order to operate any food stand, a person needs a permit from DOH -- no exceptions.

That apparently means kids across the city might want to think twice before making lemonade out of these lemons.

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