A white woman, who became the target of digital ire after she was captured on video confronting — and, police said, assaulting — a black teenager at a South Carolina swimming pool, pleaded guilty to the charge this week.
Stephanie Sebby-Strempel pleaded guilty to third-degree assault for the incident, a misdemeanor, and will be required to pay a $1,000 fine, Maj. Tony Phinney at the Dorchester County Sheriff’s Department told The Washington Post.
The guilty plea brings to a close the case that drew wide attention on social media and earned Sebby-Strempel the nickname #PoolPatrolPaula.
DJ RocQuemore Simmons and his friend were guests of a neighborhood resident at a community pool when Sebby-Strempel screamed at them, shoved DJ, and told the two that they “didn’t belong.” She struck one of the teenagers in the chest, then at least twice in the face as he walked toward the exit, police said after she was arrested. And she called them “little punks” and used racial slurs.
Some of the altercation was caught on a shaky cellphone video that traveled quickly around the Internet, one of several incidents captured on camera in which black people were castigated for doing quotidian things — barbecuing, picking up litter, napping in a college dorm, leaving a rental apartment — giving rise to the hashtag #LivingWhileBlack.
Sebby-Strempel was physically aggressive when officers arrested her, pushing one into a wall and biting another’s arm, police said at the time. Her contract with a marketing company was terminated after the incident and the publicity it generated.
Correction Dec. 11: An earlier version of this story referred to nickname of the woman who pleaded guilty to an assault charge stemming from an incident at a community pool as #PoolPatrolPatty. The nickname is #PoolPatrolPaula.