Outrageous Angry Neighbor Demands Police Shut Down Boy's Lemonade Stand
You know what they say: when life gives you lemons, call the police and have them shut down your neighbor's kid's lemonade stand.
OK, that's not what they say, but something like that actually is happening in Dunedin, Florida.
A neighbor has been trying for two years to convince police or local officials to shut down T.J. Guerrero's small business.
Doug Wilkey contends that the Palm Harbor Middle School student's year-round operation is an "illegal business" that causes excessive traffic, noise, trash, illegal parking and other problems that reduce his property values.
"Please help me regain my quiet home and neighborhood," Wilkey, 61, wrote.
"We're not in the business of trying to regulate kids like that; nor do we want to do any code enforcement like that," said Dunedin planning and development director Greg Rice. "We are not out there trying to put lemonade stands out of business."
It's unclear how many hours government agencies have dedicated to the rancor.
According to Dunedin records, Wilkey contacted city commissioners in May 2013 and followed up in October, then again in March and June this year.
T.J. lives four doors down from Wilkey but places his stand on the shaded sidewalk in front of Rodney Shrode's corner lot home next door to Wilkey's.
Wilkey wrote that T.J's friends made noise as they lingered near the stand with their skateboards. The boys used profanity, threw rocks and debris that Wilkey had to pick up before mowing, and set off fireworks that scared his dog, he said. Once, a child accidentally ran his bicycle into the back of Wilkey's parked truck, damaging it.
Wilkey also said T.J.'s customers park in front of his home, an assertion that T.J. and Shrode deny.
T.J. said his longest line ever was five people. At least two neighbors said customers are allowed to park in their driveways.
"The city could possibly face repercussion in the event someone became ill from spoiled/contaminated food or drink sales," Wilkey wrote in one email.
"If this were a once a year event by a couple kids to earn a little money for a holiday or something, I would not have a problem with it," he said in another. "I am very worried about the value of my home, which is why I built in a residential area, not a business area."
An increasingly frustrated Wilkey, who declined to speak with the Tampa Bay Times, wrote this summer that the stand was back "AGAIN!!!!!!!!!!!!"
A Pinellas County sheriff's community police officer has been out at least twice in an attempt to defuse the conflict.
Guerrero, 12, said this morning he was "very surprised" when he heard that Wilkey objected to his business. He pointed out that all of the other neighbors support him, so he thinks Wilkey should too.
"It makes me upset, the fact that he's kind of lying," T.J. said, disputing Wilkey's allegations about the stand causing a disturbance.
He even offered Wilkey some free lemonade, but said the man wouldn't answer the door.
T.J. only has to deal with this for a few more years though. He'll be retiring from the lemonade stand when he turns 14, the minimum age for a position bagging groceries at Publix.
With the money, T.J. helps out his mom by buying dinner and paying for his cell phone.
Police say the lemonade/cookie stand is completely legal. Fox and Friends reached out to Wilkey, but received no response.
Watch the full interview above.