Let’s say you got a manicure from a nail salon, and it was awful. We’ve all been there. What do you do? A) Refuse to pay? B) Try to leave? C) Drag an employee with your BMW about 40 feet? An Indiana woman allegedly went with D) all of the above. The Office of Porter County Prosecutor Brian Gensel told Law&Crime on Thursday that Charley Fowler, 28, was officially charged with misdemeanor theft over a dispute from Saturday.
Fowler got her nails done at a salon, police said according to an WISH report. She was unhappy with the final result, said she didn’t have time to get it redone, and allegedly refused to pay. An employee told police that Fowler was leaving in a vehicle when employees exited the building. One co-worker, Phihung Nguyen, said he hung off the vehicle’s hood, and was dragged about 40 feet. He told cops his shin and hand hurt, but cops claimed he sustained no visible injuries.
At the time, Fowler reportedly told police she was going to wait in her car after a nail salon employee said he was going to call authorities. She only drove off after workers approached her car, and started banging on the windows.
Cops first booked her on theft and criminal recklessness, and they sent surveillance footage to Gensel’s office to make a decision about official charges. Fowler’s attorney Bob Harper told Law&Crime in a phone interview that he’s disappointed the prosecutor decided to push the theft accusation.
“She should’ve never been arrested,” he said.
This was a civil matter, not a criminal one, Harper argued. If the nail salon employees had an problem with her, they could’ve filed in small claims court, he said.
Theft is a crime of intent, and there was no intent in this case, Harper argued. Surveillance footage released by police shows that Fowler approached the counter to “confront the issue,” instead of running away, he said.
His client was willing to return to the salon the next day to get it redone, he said. Fowler had been there before, and employees could’ve taken down her license plate if they had a dispute. Instead, “They didn’t want her to leave that day,” he said.
You can see the car incident below:
A clerk for the prosecutor’s office told Law&Crime that the only charge is theft. Court records show that a hearing is scheduled for July 5.
[Screengrab via surveillance footage obtained by Times of Northwest Indiana]