A Marine Corps veteran in Celina, Ohio, said he never expected to have an issue that led to a viral Facebook post about the way a Celina pharmacy handled the reprinting of his boot camp photo.
“I just expected to pick up up my photo and leave,” Larry Regedanz told WHIO.
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The copy of his boot camp photo was for his mom, who wanted to have it posted in downtown Celina to honor him like other veterans in the city.
“She and my wife were planning to get one of the banners to hang up on Main Street,” he said.
But when Regedanz went to a CVS Pharmacy, he said the manager told him she couldn’t sell him the reprint because of copyright infringement and that it had to be destroyed.
“She said, ‘Here it is.’ It wasn’t destroyed. I said, ‘I thought it was destroyed.’” Regendanz said. “At that point, she ripped it up in my face. I couldn’t believe it.”
The manager then called police.
Celina police responded around 5:30 p.m. Tuesday to CVS Pharmacy after the store’s manager called to report that Regendanz had threatened her.
“I had a customer come in here and threaten me,” the manager told Celina police in a phone call obtained by WHIO. “He came back and he started screaming and yelling and threatening to call his lawyer and that he was going to come get me.”
Regedanz posted a lengthy message on Facebook two hours after the store called police on him, detailing his experience in the store.
“When my mother ... 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’s post, which had been shared over 6,000 times Wednesday morning, read.
According to a Celina police report, the 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.
Regedanz went to the store later in the afternoon to try to pick up the copy of the picture himself.
“When I explained it was my military boot camp picture, the manager wasn't so nice anymore,” Regedanz said. “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.”
Regedanz said the manager took the photo “held it up to my face and ripped it in pieces, smiling as she did it,” the post read.
A CVS spokesperson said they’ve been investigating the incident.
“Our employee did not tear up Mr. Regedanz’s original photo,” said Mike DeAngelis, senior director of corporate communications with CVS. “During their conversation, he told our employee to tear up a copy that was printed from his online order.”
“We are committed to ensuring that every customer receives courteous, outstanding service in our stores and we apologize to Mr. Regedanz and his mother for their recent experience,” DeAngelis added. “We are fully investigating this matter and contacting him directly to learn more about his version of what occurred.”
U.S. Army veteran Donald Ayars said he had his military photo copied at the same CVS store.
“His photo, my photo, if there’s a copyright infringement, we both did it. In fact, all of these banners downtown are copyright infringement,” he said.
The manager told police after Regedanz posted about his experience on Facebook the store received “over 20 phone calls” and “that all the calls were anonymous and stated anything from she is disrespectful, she should be fired to they hope she dies in a car crash,” the police report read.
Celina Police Chief Thomas Wales said his department respects all military members, and that he does not expect any charges to be filed because no criminal activity took place.
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