Larry Regedanz, a United States Marine Corps veteran in Celina, Ohio, was recently treated with absolute disrespect at CVS Pharmacy, and the community is NOT happy about it. This is extremely disheartening, as this is the town I live in, and we are a community heavily dedicated to supporting our veterans. This should have NEVER happened.
Regedanz, who is now a high school teacher in the nearby city of Van Wert, was helping his mother obtain a copy of his boot camp photo from 1986, after hers was damaged. What he thought would be an easy task turned into a nightmare.
"I sent a scanned copy of the 33 year old boot camp photo to CVS and it met the resolution requirements for an 8x10 printout. When my mother, Linda Regedanz tried to pick up the photo she was told that it belonged to the government and was threatened with a $10,000 fine for copyright infringement," Regedanz said.
He assured his mother not to worry, and went to the pharmacy to pick up the photo after he got off work. Since he'd purchased the photo and owned the rights to it, he assumed there was a simple misunderstanding.
Upon arriving at CVS, the veteran said the cashier was "unable to find the photo," and then called for the manager who also claimed she could not find the photo.
"When I explained it was my military boot camp picture, the manager wasn't so nice anymore. She told me it was copyrighted." He continued, "I tried to explain to her that it was a picture of me that I purchased and owned the rights to, and that I have had several copies made over the years and have used it on social media, and it's even been in the news."
The manager told him again that he could not have the photo. So he proceeded to ask her where the photo was since she claimed she could not find it. At that point she told Regedanz that the photo had been destroyed, but then said she couldn't find the photo remains when he asked to see them.
He continued, "I then said that the photo was in the store a few hours ago, and now it's gone, and that I was concerned since it was my photo. She eventually found it, not destroyed. When I pointed out that it was not destroyed, she held it up to my face and ripped it in pieces, smiling as she did it."
The teacher was surprised and appalled. While he did not expect any kind of treatment for being a veteran, he did not expect to be treated so rudely.
He asked for the manager's name, to which he only got her first: Michelle. She refused to tell him her last name, claiming that it was none of his business.
Regedanz left the establishment, and was then notified by the Celina Police Department that the CVS manager called and filed a complaint against him.
"The police officer told me that it already sounded fishy before he spoke with me as she was trying to cover her actions by filing a police report on me first, which didn't work." He said, "I had recordings of the entire incident. She also called the police on my 67 year old mother, who I later found out only wanted the photo to have it put up in honor of me on the light poles in our hometown which honor veterans."
"I had a customer come in here and threaten me,” the manager told Celina police in a phone call obtained by News Center 7. "He came back and he started screaming and yelling and threatening to call his lawyer and that he was going to come get me."
According to a Celina Police report, the store’s manager told police “she was unable to release the photo due to it being copyrighted.” She also told police Regedanz would have to obtain a letter of release from the U.S. Government.
News Center 7 has reached out to CVS for comment and have been told they will follow up on our request for comment later this afternoon.
Regedanz was trespassed from the store, according to the police report.
Who else would be willing to bet that Manager Michelle was not aware that Regedanz had a recording of the incident as well...anyone?
I reached out to the veteran to further comment, and he replied, "I am not on a witch hunt. I just want CVS and other corporate managers to be better trained on dealing not only with veterans but their customers in general."
He added, "I will not be visiting the Celina CVS or any other CVS for that matter until it's made clear by CVS corporate on 1. their policy of veterans getting photo copies of themselves which they own. 2. CVS corporate’s policy on how managers interact with not only veterans but customers in general. I am still waiting to hear back from CVS corporate."
I also reached out to CVS for comment, but they have yet to respond.