The Yelp reviewer supposedly attacked by a store owner just got a zero-star rating for honesty. The store owner says it was the reviewer who attacked, even though the owner came in peace to apologize.
Ocean Ave. Books proprietor Diane Goodman acknowledges sending angry, cursing Yelp messages to reviewer "Sean C." after he posted that her store was a "TOTAL MESS." But she vehemently denies his version of subsequent events. Sean C. said in a Yelp comment thread that Goodman tried to force her way into his house and had to be taken to jail.
Goodman tells us she came in peace, after tracking down Sean via clues in his Yelp profile, like his occupation as a veterinary technician, and via some searches on Google and online white pages. She had already sent Sean a "profuse" online apology for her online "outburst, which I regret. I wanted to apologize... I got too hot to handle in the heat of the moment and I'm sorry... Also, I don't like having unresolved stuff with people in the neighborhood."
So, Goodman says, she knocked on "Sean C.'s" door and introduced herself as a neighbor. Sean made a gesture that she should come in. Then, as she started to come in, Goodman said, "I'm here about the Yelp thing."
He said, 'You fucking bitch,' and jumped out and grabbed me, and we were struggling and rolling down the steps together... He ran over me. We were rolling down the steps and I was fighting to get away from him.
Goodman later clarified that she never "punched" or hit Sean coming down the steps or at any other point, although she did struggle to get away when he allegedly grabbed her initially, "like a bearhug." She also said she never went to jail, and that in fact she was the one who called 911 to report the incident and was treated at San Francisco General Hospital for bruises on her lower back and flank.
Still, she acknowledges getting a ticket from the police for battery. She's been told she and Sean C. will both answer to a judge at a forthcoming court date.
Goodman said she would have set the public record straight sooner but she was working all day yesterday as a poll worker in the local election. She said she's surpised how quickly Sean C.'s tale spread online:
I don't want this guy to escalate anything. I'm not interested in revenge of any kind. I do want to put it out there what happened....If i'd known it would be like this i wouldnt have went
We still don't know Sean C.'s real name — we're not Google pros like Goodman, apparently — but are trying to track him down for a rebuttal to Goodman's rebuttal. By phone or email or something. No housecalls on this one, is what we're thinking.
UPDATE: We've found Sean's full name and are trying to get a comment from him.