A woman who has been dubbed "Permit Patty" says backlash has been fierce after a video of her appearing to call the cops on an 8-year-old girl selling water without a permit went viral

By Stephanie Petit
June 25, 2018 02:16 PM

A woman who claimed to call the cops on an 8-year-old girl selling water without a permit is facing the ire of the Internet after a video of the incident went viral.

Speaking to Today, Alison Ettel — dubbed online as “Permit Patty” — claimed she was working in her San Francisco home when she was distracted by the girl, Jordan Rodgers, selling water bottles outside to raise money to go to Disneyland after her mom, Erin Austin, lost her job.

Ettel claimed she confronted Rodgers’ mother about the noise after several hours.

“I tried to be polite, but I was stern,” Ettel explained to the outlet. “And I said, ‘Please, I’m trying to work. You’re screaming, you’re yelling, and people have open windows — it’s a hot day. Please keep it down.’ ”

However, Austin denies that Ettel asked them to quiet down, and instead seemingly called the police.

“That woman thought that she could use her white privilege, and it didn’t work,” the mother said to Today.

Austin first shared the footage on Instagram, and it was also posted to Twitter by Rodgers’ cousin. In the video, Ettel hides behind a wall while holding her phone up to her ear as Austin tapes her.

“Make this b— go viral like #bbqbecky she’s #permitpatty,” the mother captioned the clip. “Would you rather my daughter be out here getting into s— Fr cuz an 8 year old selling water in front of her apartment building where she’s lived her whole life is NOT a reason to call the Police 🤬🤬🤬.”

Rodgers spoke to Good Morning America about the incident, telling the morning news show that she was “scared” at the thought of the police getting involved and let her mother handle the situation. However, the child believes race influenced the incident.

“Now I’m starting to think she did it on purpose because I think she doesn’t care about people’s skin colors, because she doesn’t care about people’s lives except for hers,” Rodgers said.

Ettel claimed to The Huffington Post over the weekend that she was only “pretending” to call the police, but she regrets how she handled the incident — and claims it had nothing to do with race.The San Francisco Police Department did not immediately respond to PEOPLE’s request for confirmation of the call.

“I have no problem with enterprising young women. I want to support that little girl. It was all the mother and just about being quiet,” Ettel said. “I had been putting up with this for hours, and I just snapped.”

Ettel got emotional as she told Today on Monday that she’s since received a flood of backlash, including “death threats.”

Austin compared Ettel to Jennifer Schulte, who went viral in April and earned the nickname “Barbecue Becky” after calling police on a group of black people having a barbecue in an Oakland park.

On Saturday, Austin shared an Instagram post revealing a stranger bought four tickets for the family to go to Disneyland. She captured the much happier moment that she revealed the tickets to Rodgers on video as well.