A poop-smearing stranger decided to attack a disabled woman. However, her attacker got destroyed when the victim decided to fight back.
Shellie Nichol Chandar, a busy realtor and mother-of-eight, takes good care of her clients. That means working Saturdays to show homes. On one such Saturday, Shellie pulled into a convenient spot along Villa Maria Court in San Jose, California. Little did she know, someone was watching her, and they didn’t like what they saw.
“We went in for about 10 minutes and then when we came out, there was just poop all over my car,” Shellie recalled. Someone had smeared her car with dog poop, and Shellie thinks she knows why she was targeted. The visibly healthy realtor had parked in a handicapped spot, but Shellie wasn’t going to take their crap lying down.
“Soo someone spit on my car, dented it and smeared dog poop all over it because I was parked in a disabled parking spot,” Shellie wrote in a Facebook post documenting the vandalism before destroying the judgmental assumptions that she believes led to the attack.
Although Shellie might look healthy, she isn’t. She has Multiple Sclerosis and is genuinely disabled, but it’s not visually apparent. “Had my placard, I have MS and with all the stress it’s out of control, my left leg is numb amongst other things,” she wrote. “I was with client too when it happened so although I wanted to cry. I did what I do best and laughed it off,” Shellie admitted before declaring, “MEAN PEOPLE SUCK.”
Just in case the poop-smearing stranger missed the message that Shellie posted publicly on Facebook, she spoke out to a local news outlet too. “My clients were running late, so I sat down on the curb,” Shellie told ABC7. “I did notice some people giving me ‘the look’ when I got out of my car, and I’m pretty used to that because I get it a lot,” she added, referring to dirty looks she gets since she doesn’t appear disabled but uses a handicapped placard.
After being diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis in 2012, Shellie suffers from numbness in her left leg, making it difficult for her to walk. It’s worsened by stress, which she had plenty of that day since her mother-in-law had been involved in a serious accident just weeks before.
Shellie’s mother-in-law was still paralyzed in the hospitalized when Shellie’s car was vandalized. “We left her and I went to go meet my clients an hour later after seeing her suffering,” a tearful Shellie said. “That really hurt more, because it took a lot to get ready that day after seeing my mother-in-law go through therapy.”
As a realtor, a mother-of-eight, and an advocate for her nonprofit “Project Foster Care,” Shellie depends on her mother-in-law, who is an integral part of the family’s day-to-day activities. So, her hospitalization hit them pretty hard. “I have eight children. So, my husband and I are a fine oiled machine,” she said. “Our mother-in-law was intricate.”
Although Shellie is used to the dirty looks she sometimes receives when using her handicapped placard, the attack on her car was much worse than anything she’s ever experienced. It left her devastated, hurt, and humiliated. “This was so really violent, and so cruel, and so crude to do that,” she said.
“I needed to do it in hopes that the person that did it would actually see [it] and feel kind of ‘poopy’ themselves,” she added, explaining her need to speak out. “It’s not just me, I’m surrounded by people who have disabilities as well and we struggle with the same thing,” she explained. “When you have an invisible disability, you can’t see the pain we live in. You have no idea.”
Shellie has no desire to find the person responsible and didn’t reach out to police for that reason, but she hopes they will see her message and change their assumptions. There’s also a lesson she hopes everyone will learn from her story, and it’s one we’ve all heard before.
“Just consider the fact that disabilities aren’t always visible,” Shellie said. “They don’t realize what it took for me that day to just get up and go meet clients and go around for the day.” In other words, never judge a book by its cover — or a person by their placard.