Man Claims Squatter’s Rights After Sitting At Local Starbucks For 4 Days


April 11, 2015 - Local

A Pasadena man is claiming squatter’s rights at a local Starbucks after spending much of the last week sitting inside working on his laptop.

According to management, Ronald Stapleton, 23, entered the Starbucks on north Lake Avenue in Pasadena last Wednesday to work on his screenplay and hasn’t left since.

“We’ve had cases of people staying a little past their welcome before, but nothing at this magnitude of laziness and absurdity,” said Drake Roberts, the store’s manager.

“When we found out he was claiming squatter’s rights, well, there’s nothing really we could do at that point. Our lawyers say we’re stuck with him. So we’re just hoping one day he’ll get tired and leave on his own,” he said.

Bart Crabtree, a local real-estate lawyer, confirmed with The Pasadenoid that Stapleton has no legal obligation to leave the premises.

“The law is inflexible. Once you welcome someone into your home or store for an extended period of time, they may legally argue they have taken up residence and can continue to live there,” Crabtree said.

“And based on the fact that this man is only three pages into his screenplay, I’m willing to bet he’ll be here a long time,” he added.

Roberts and other staff say the effect is already being felt on themselves and their customers. Yesterday, Stapleton petitioned the owner to change the name of the store to ‘Starbucks and Ronald’s house’. And his late-night antics have kept workers on edge.

“He has his friends over at all the time, and they stay up all night drinking Frappuccinos and playing Mario-Kart on his laptop,” said an employee who wished to remain anonymous.

“And yesterday he opened our store’s refrigerator and asked if we were out of ketchup. I’ve never seen anything like this,” the employee added.

But Stapleton responds to such claims by saying the staff doesn’t appreciate what he adds to the store, and is out to destroy his reputation.

“I’ll bet Belinda told you that. God, she’s the worst. She’s always yelling at me to clean up and be quiet. It’s like, ‘Yo, if you don’t want to live here, you can just leave, ok?’”