Stephanie Sebby-Strempel, a former skincare consultant from South Carolina, is accused of assaulting an African-American boy during a tirade at a swimming pool while using racial slurs and allegedly telling the boy and his friends to “get out.” She’s been nicknamed “Pool Patrol Paula” on the Internet.
Sebby-Strempel is accused of “repeatedly hitting” the 15-year-old boy in the face and chest, alleges ABC 4. The rage didn’t stop there, authorities allege, accusing the married mother of later biting a police officer who came to her home to serve a warrant against her regarding the pool incident.
The incident is but the latest in a string of cases throughout the United States in which white women are accused of mistreating non-white people. Most recently two women dubbed Permit Patty and BBQ Becky were in the news; the first woman, Alison Ettel, was recorded trying to stop an 8-year-old girl from selling water outside her home in San Francisco. The second, Jennifer Schulte, called the police to report a group of black people who were barbecuing in an Oakland park.
Stephanie Sebby-Strempel’s alleged behavior was captured on video, which you can watch below. The incident occurred at a Summerville, South Carolina swimming pool. “This young man is in the Distinguished Young Gentleman’s Group. He’s not your average teen,” said one concerned community activist, Tricia Fisher, to Heavy. The video has sparked outrage in the teen’s community over what people say is racist mistreatment. “He’s an OUTSTANDING young man,” added Fisher.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Sebby-Strempel Is Accused of Screaming That She Would Call 911 If the Boys Did Not ‘Get Out Now’
Investigators say that Sebby-Strempel was the aggressor and the attack was “unprovoked,” but the boy “didn’t respond or retaliate to being hit,” according to ABCNews4. “Sebby-Strempel is clearly the aggressor in the assault even going as far as to continue to assault the victim as he was walking away from her,” The Charlotte Observer quotes the incident report as alleging.
“Get out. Get out,” the 38-year-old woman identified as Sebby-Strempel screams in the viral video to the 15-year-old teenager and other boys at the pool. You can watch the video above. “Get out now. There’s three numbers I can dial. 911, okay? Get out, little punk,” the irate woman says in the video. She appears to grab toward the person with the camera. The video does not contain the alleged racial slurs; the mother alleged at a public meeting that the racial slur was the “N” word and was used before the boy started filming the scene.
According to Live5News, Stephanie Sebby-Strempel now stands accused of “one count of third-degree assault and battery and two counts of assaulting, beating or wounding a police officer while resisting arrest.” Sebby-Strempel, who is called Stephanie Strempel in jail records, has bailed out of custody, online records show. The television station reported that bail was set at $65,000.
A police incident report accuses Sebby-Strempel of calling the boys “punks” and using “racial slurs,” according to Live5, which adds that the report accuses her of continuing “to follow the teen toward the pool exit” and alleges she “hit him in the face at least twice.” The boy’s mother said in a press conference that her son was visiting with a friend “that had permission to be there.”
After the incident, police went to Sebby-Strempel’s home and she is accused of pushing “one detective into a wall, injuring his knee, and then bit a second detective on the arm, breaking the skin,” alleges ABC News 4.
2. Rodan & Fields Says It’s Reaching Out to Sebby-Strempel, an Independent Contractor, to ‘Reiterate Our Corporate Values’
Sebby-Strempel worked for the skincare company Rodan & Fields. According to NBC News, the company has now fired her.
In a tweet, Rodan & Fields described Sebby-Strempel as an independent contractor for the company. “We do not condone violence of any kind and pride ourselves on embracing inclusion and acceptance of all. Please note, this person is not a Rodan + Fields employee, but an Independent Contractor. We are reaching out to this individual to reiterate our corporate values,” the tweet reads.
The company describes itself as “a premium skincare brand built on a legacy of innovative dermatology–inspired skincare products backed by clinical results.”
People have now filled the Facebook page for Rodan & Fields with angry comments.
“You need an apology statement to go out during this time NOTTTTT promotions. You just lost a customer!” wrote one woman. “Any tips for summer child protection ?” wrote another. “Done with you guys!! I will not buy anymore if she is a representation of your brand!! Yikes!!” wrote another customer.
3. The Boy’s Mother Argues the Situation Was a Hate Crime
The mother and father of the boy held a press conference with others at the Community Resource Center in Summerville. The mother’s name is Deanna RocQuemore. She labeled what happened a “hate crime. This was a situation that should have never happened. My son was assaulted and struck… because she did not feel they belonged at the pool,” the mother alleged. She called her son a “distinguished gentleman,” commending him for his level of control. She alleges that her son’s skin color drove the situation, although authorities had not charged a hate crime offense.
A community public hearing was also already held on the June 24, 2018 incident, and the boy’s mother showed up as did a friend of Stephanie Sebby-Strempel. “We have too many of our children incarcerated. Too many of our children dead,” said the man moderating the hearing, the video of which you can see below.
At the public hearing, the mother provided additional details, saying that her son and and the other boys went to the pool with “one of their basketball teammates and they got to the pool and someone came and opened the gate because the person who lives there was already inside.” She alleged that Sebby-Strempel walked up and the boys said, “‘We don’t even know you.’ That’s when she started yelling out racial slurs and telling them to move.” She denied that her son used the term “b*tch as*” to refer to Sebby-Strempel at the pool. She alleged Sebby-Strempel used the “N” word to refer to the boys, although that accusation is not captured on video.
She alleged that the boys were “not trespassing, someone let them in to get to the person they were there to see.” The mother said her son was holding a phone that he had just gotten for his birthday, and she praised her son’s restraint.
The man who was leading the meeting, Louis Smith, the Director of the Community Resource Center in Summerville, then told the boy, who was also at the meeting, “I am very concerned about a lot of it. I want to applaud this young man. I want to applaud you sir. You did the right thing by walking away. You really did. I don’t know how many times I can say that. White privilege is real in America. White privilege is real in America. Ma’am the scenario could have been a lot different. There is no way under any scenario that I can see that when the cops come up there that they would have taken this young man’s side” had he responded differently.
A man who identified himself as a resident of the subdivision and a friend of Sebby-Strempel, said he was there on his own behalf. He accused one of the boys of “flipping the bird” and claimed the pool was “clearly marked that you have to be with a resident. Otherwise you would be trespassing. It’s clearly marked with several signs.”
He also alleged that the pool has various rules. “One, if you are under the age of 16 you must be accompanied by someone. You need to be there with a resident. If you can not open the gate yourself, you do not belong there,” the man contended.
4. Sebby-Strempel’s Husband Works for the Coast Guard
Sebby-Strempel’s husband James Strempel works for the U.S. Coast Guard. One photo on his Facebook page with his wife shows him getting a promotion. Judging from social media, the couple appears to have a child.
A 2013 story by ABC 7 identified James Strempel as U.S. Coast Guard petty officer, and quoted him in a story about the Coast Guard “partnering with the Illinois Department of Natural Resources and Chicago police as part of a national anti-boating-and-drinking campaign called ‘Operation Dry Water.'”
“We want to make sure everyone is doing things safe, we want you to have fun, but at the same time, we want you to act responsibly,” Strempel said, according to the story.
Heavy wrote to James Strempel on Facebook and offered him or his wife a chance to comment and will update this article if comment is received. There isn’t much on Sebby-Strempel’s Facebook page; her Facebook biography read, “Dream Big, Work Hard, & Don’t let anything or anyone bring you down!”
5. Sebby-Strempel Previously Worked as a Nursing Assistant in Illinois
According to her LinkedIn page, Stephanie Sebby-Strempel, then going by the name Stephanie Sebby, previously worked as a nursing assistant in Palatine, Illinois. She held the position for more than seven years. The incident in South Carolina, where she now appears to live, occurred at the Reminisce neighborhood pool.
According to Live5News, a legal representative for Sebby-Strempel told the bond court judge of the charge against the minor, “With regard to that one, we’re not terrible concerned with it but will say there are certainly more than one side of the story on that charge.”
On Facebook, Sebby-Strempel’s page likes include sports teams from Chicago, Dorchester County government, a mom’s blog, and a blog containing advice for military spouses.