We’ve all been there.
You need the bathroom, but it’s occupied; you just go into the other one, even if it’s designated a male or female. You know it’s a single use, so what’s the harm?
You’ll be the only one in there. No harm, no foul. Besides, you need to pee.
This appears to be what happened to Mikhail Ostryakov, 26, a resident of The Element Apartments on Franklin Street in Tampa.
On March 26, 2016, Ostrayakov was using the outdoor pool, when he needed to do some “business.”
The single-occupancy men’s bathroom was occupied, so he decided to use the women’s single-occupancy bathroom.
Unfortunately, when he emerged, he was stopped by one of the building’s security guards. Michael Morales of Admiral Security took issue with Ostryakov’s decision.
Morales allegedly publically berated and physically threatened Ostryakov, calling him a “pedophile, child molester, rapist and faggot” in front of other residents.
Upset by Morales’ behavior, Ostryakov, a professional dancer, filed suit for defamation, alleging he has suffered a “tarnished reputation.”
To make matters worse, Ostryakov, who moved to the U.S. two years ago, believes his balcony suffered vandalism as a result of the altercation with Morales.
According to Ronald Denman, the attorney representing Ostryakov: “When you see the video, it’s pretty unbelievable. Ostryakov simply needed some toilet paper to blow his nose, but the way the security guard reacted, yelling and I mean literally yelling and shouting, calling him a rapist, a child molester, it’s pretty unbelievable, especially in an upscale environment like that.”
With the current climate of highly politicized scrutiny of bathroom use – particularly by transgender people – it’s easy to imagine how “on edge” people are around bathrooms.
However, was Morales alleged behavior appropriate given the single-use designation of the bathroom in question?
Morales employers, Admiral Security Services, responded to inquiries with “no comment.”
According to Denman, they have not received any response to the legal action.