Shoplifter sues Wal-Mart, security for excessive force http://www.privateofficer.com
Deborah Blackwell, 58, of Greer, was grabbed and knocked down by a loss prevention officer who said he saw her shoplifting at the store on Dorman Centre Drive.
Joseph Gregorie, the store officer, said he had observed Blackwell conceal several items in a tote bag while a male companion watched her do it. Gregorie said that Blackwell and the man then headed out the grocery store exit without paying for the items.
Spartanburg public safety officers said the surveillance video confirmed Blackwell’s claim that Gregorie had grabbed her in a bear hug and threw her to the ground.
Blackwell is charged with shoplifting. Gregorie is charged with assault and battery.
After the incident, Wal-Mart sent a statement to WYFF News 4 saying: “First and foremost, the safety and security of our customers and associates is our top priority. We always expect the utmost professionalism from our associates at all times. We are currently investigating the claims related to this situation and will take appropriate action. We are cooperating with police on their investigation.”
Blackwell’s lawsuit said she received head, face and back injuries in the incident. The suit does not ask for a specific amount of actual or punitive damages.
Wal-Mart has 30 days respond to the complaint.
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