UPDATE: Prosecutor says Shireman's Farm Market returning $500 to family
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- After a dispute over parking in the Shireman's Farm Market lot, a family was forced to pay $500 to leave.
UPDATE: The Harrison County prosecutor's office says the owners of Shireman's Farm Market have agreed to return the money to the family. According to a spokesperson for the office, the owners have given the $500 to the prosecutor's office to return to the family.
Keith Mullins, a Corydon resident has been a shopper at Shireman's Farm Market for years. They're known for their ice cream and fresh fruit.
"I get the best watermelon there, the best cantaloupe there and the best honey dew there," he said.
Shireman's Farm Market is well known in Corydon, but what happened on June 27 is making a lot of customers upset. Now, the Harrison County Prosecutor's Office says it's looking into a dispute between the business and a local family.
The business sign says parking is for customers only and all others will be towed and charged $5,000. James Kempf said he parked at Shireman's and ran over to McDonald's to get a milkshake for his autistic son. But when he returned, the Shireman's owner blocked his truck with an SUV and a forklift, and demanded $5,000.
He said the owner then told him he would cut him a break and wouldn't let him leave until he paid $500. Kempf says he didn't have the $5,000. He said he called the police and ended up paying $500 by credit card so he could leave. Kempf said he had planned to shop at the Market after McDonald's and doesn't feel he should have been charged.
A witness to the incident posted on Facebook about it and it's been shared thousands of times. Some people are siding with the business, others are saying they will boycott it.
The Market posted on Facebook that the family parked horizontally across parking spots with their trailer saying they had been doing that every weekend this summer. Kempf says he's only parked there twice and the last time, they had also purchased produce from the Farm Market.
"There is no criminal rule law that says you can be charged $500 for parking at a place," Otto Schalk, the Harrison County Prosecutor, said.
"As the prosecuting attorney," he said, "I have two investigators who work for me. Some of the allegations that we made we are investigating to see if they rise to the level of criminal confinement or another criminal charge."
"You've got an autistic child. You shouldn't block them in like that. They should have a little bit of sympathy," Mullins said.
Prosecutor Otto Schalk says he's been in contact with both parties.
The sign at the business has now been changed. It says parking for Shireman's Farm Market only. All others towed.
"There is no criminal mechanism to fine someone for that unless they were charged with trespassing or something to that effect," Schalk said. "That hasn't been the situation here."
We tried to talk to the owners of the market, but were directed to talk to their attorney who has not returned calls.
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