The minute-long video obtained by Fox News, which has since gone viral across the world, shows a woman behind the counter refusing Jonathan White, 25, a free glass of water at the Clock Hotel Pub in Hebburn near Newcastle on June 15.
After drinking two pints of alcohol, White asked the barmaid for a third glass of tap water to swallow his medication at about 9:45 p.m. local time.
“I want to get a glass of water,” he said in the video. “I am going to pass out, I am going to pass out in the cold.”
Man, 25, who asked for a glass of water at pub to swallow his medication is ‘told to pay £1 for a bottle or leave before barmaid swipes at his phone’ https://t.co/rRbO9jZ4Jy pic.twitter.com/oqnJ2xIURx
— Popular Crime (@popular_crime) June 22, 2019
However, the woman did not offer him tap water and instead tried to sell bottled water for £1 ($1.27).
“We sell water for one pound,” she said. “You’re not getting a glass of water [for free] … then do it [pass out], do it.”
White admitted he had no money and asked if the woman was actually refusing him service, given that he has a medical condition.
“I have not got any money and cannot afford a pound,” he said. “Are you refusing me a glass of water because I have a medical condition?”
Jonathan White was at the Clock Hotel pub, in Hebburn, North Tyneside. He had already bought 2 pints and then asked the barmaid if he could have some… https://t.co/jlgaCNfald
— Julia Charnley (@JuliaCharnley) June 22, 2019
The barmaid finally acknowledged White’s health condition before asking him to leave and appeared to swat his smartphone.
“If you’ve got a medical condition, you’ve got to go home and sort it [out],” she said. “You can video us as much as you like, I mean, I don’t care, get yourself away, get yourself on the road, see you later.”
— Automatic Blogging (@MyAutoBlogging) June 24, 2019
White claims he felt “anxious and scared” after the incident.
“I was made to feel stupid and insecure around her,” he told Fox News. “She wasn’t supposed to be charging us anyway for tap water. I couldn’t see why she wouldn’t just pour me a glass of water for my medication.”
White claimed he only brought enough cash for two pints and could not make an electronic payment since his American Express card was out of order and he was not carrying another contactless debit card.
— Daily Star (@Daily_Star) June 22, 2019
He was so upset about the confrontation he reported the matter to Northumbria Police who have encouraged anyone with information to come forward.
“Shortly before 10 p.m., June 15, police received a report of an assault at the Clock Hotel, Hebburn,” a Northumbria Police spokesperson told Fox News. “Enquiries are ongoing and anyone with any information is asked to contact police by calling 101 and quoting reference number 1217 15/06/19.”
Since the story circulated on the internet, some sympathizers have supported White’s argument that the barmaid should have served him with water for free.
“All licensed premises in England and Wales are required by law to provide ‘free potable water’ to their customers upon request,” North Yorkshire artist Julia Charnley said on Facebook. “This refers to pubs, bars, nightclubs, cafes, restaurants, takeaway food, and drink outlets, cinemas, theatres, along with village and community halls, so long as they are authorized to serve alcohol.”
However, some licensed premises may impose a service fee for the glass tap water is poured into.
“These premises may charge people for the use of a glass, or their service, when serving the ‘free’ tap water,” Charnley said.
The Clock Hotel did not respond to Fox News’s request for comment before publication.