Veteran told he couldn't use bathroom in elections building
Photo: Video by fox4now.com
CAPE CORAL - Sometimes when "nature calls" you have to go.
Last week, a 78-year-old veteran says he was denied access to a bathroom and told he'd have to walk across the street to use one even though he was in a public building paid for with his tax dollars.
"When it hits, it hits," said Lloyd Peterman.
The retired Army Master Sergeant has a medical condition giving him the urge to urinate every 45 minutes.
"When I go up and down the highway," said Peterman, "I don't miss any rest stops."
Last Monday, he stopped by the Cape Coral Elections Office to drop off his absentee ballot when natured knocked.
"I asked the young lady where the potty room is," said Peterson. "She says...you can use it....I said, 'Well I have prostate problems. When I gotta go, I gotta go now.' She said, 'You gotta go across the street to the county building."
Despite a medical condition and an urgent need to relieve himself, Peterman had to walk across the street even though there was a working bathroom a few feet away.
"Normally it wouldn't have been a problem, we'd let them use it," said Supervisor of Elections Sharon Harrington. "But they were in the process of getting that [voting] equipment set up. We have to protect the integrity of our elections."
Since the bathroom was in the voting room, election officials were worried about security since the machines were being set up, according to Harrington, who says they can't take any chances.
"I understand his problem and I empathize," said Harrington. "But my first and most important job is making sure that equipment is not tampered with in any way. Not saying that he would have done it. But you just don't know."
But Peterman knows one thing - when nature calls it's out of his control.
"Let anybody go," said Peterman. "It's public. Let 'em use it."
Harrington says staff was busy setting up voting machines and couldn't have escorted Peterman to the restroom. Peterman says there were staff members who were not busy.