Rowdy Crowd Overturns Portable Restrooms

Crowd causes $2,500 in damage to portable restrooms
Rowdy Crowd Overturns Portable Restrooms
Mike Rice, owner of portable restroom business A-Throne, next to one of his Satellite High Tech units, which were damaged in a recent riot in California.

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When your portable restrooms are left — sometimes unattended for long stretches of time — at special events where rowdy crowds can potentially get out of control, there’s always that risk of damage to the units. One portable restroom operator recently came face-to-face with this increasingly problematic scenario when a riot broke out at the U.S. Open of Surfing in Huntington Beach, Calif. And it was all caught on video.

Check out the footage from local news affiliate KHOU in Houston showing restrooms from A-Throne, a portable restroom business based in Long Beach, Calif., being overturned: 

www.khou.com/news/national/Major-disturbance-outside-LA-after-surfing-event-217407731.html 

Mike Rice, owner of A-Throne, says he first worried about what the cleanup costs would be after seeing the video. “Then I became angry watching these guys try and tear up our equipment,” he says. “The estimated damages were around $2,500 including parts and repairs, scrapes and scratches, graffiti, and an unscheduled middle-of-the-night pick up.” 

He initially heard of the disturbances on the Monday after the damage occurred. “The news announced that after a fight at one of the bars the crowd started to turn the restrooms over, smashing windows on shops and cars,” Rice says. “One of the eight people arrested started to kick the restrooms karate style then more people followed by pushing down the units.”

The durability of the restrooms’ design helped decrease the overall structural damage. “The units are Satellite High Techs so the damage to our restrooms was minimal,” he says. 

Rice says this isn’t the first time the company’s restrooms have been damaged. “Last year at this event the hand sanitizers were set on fire in a couple units,” he says. “So this year we removed the hand sanitizer gel before the event and required they provide security. This year they did provide security but it wasn’t enough to control a crowd that size. All damages were paid last year and we expect they will be paid again this year.” 

In a turn of events, the bad public relations created some new opportunities for A-Throne.  “This is not the kind of publicity you want but we did get calls from all over the states and a few orders to boot,” Rice says. “They liked the way our units looked.” 

And while the company is still contracted with the event through next year, they don’t plan to take any chances. “Next year we’ll ask for more security and a police presence,” Rice says. “Some have suggested fencing the restrooms in but the fire department won’t allow it. It’s very difficult to prevent these things from happening.”

For a full-length story and video on A-Throne, check out www.promonthly.com/editorial/2013/04/on_the_money.



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