Customer Convicted For Shoving 75-Year-Old Walmart Receipt Checker

Donald Lynch, certified public accountant, was convicted of misdemeanor assault after pushing a 75-year-old Walmart greeter who wanted to check his receipt, reports The Chronicle. Lynch said the greeter tried to block him by pushing against him with his shoulder. Security tape showed the greeter flying to the floor. While an employee has no right to touch you, you also don’t have a right to shove them on the floor, especially if they’re septuagenarian!

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  1. ecwis says:

    Is there no source for this?

  2. RandoX says:

    I have trouble believing that someone honestly feels threatened by a 75-year old greeter at Wal-Mart. Until Chuck Norris turns 75, that is.

  3. dorianh49 says:

    What if they’re only vegetarian? Then can you knock ‘em on their soy-eating ass?

  4. rmz says:

    The old man was clearly going to kidnap, murder, and rape the man. The Mal-Wart(TM) employee was just lucky that he didn’t exercise his rights and smoke the geezer’s ass with his concealed-carry sidearm!

    (no sarcasm tag in the world big enough for this one)

  5. takotchi says:

    I hope he wins his appeal. They clearly tried to play the “oh, but it’s a poor old man” card, which is total crap. He had ZERO right to block him from leaving in the first place.

  6. ecwis says:

    @ecwis: [www.chronline.com]
    There is an article. I find it amusing how they call a receipt checker a “greeter.” Also, it is fact that the receipt checker “blocked the exit.”

    Is that legal?

  7. ecwis says:

    @ecwis: If that other link doesn’t work, use this one: [www.chronline.com]

  8. CurbRunner says:

    “While an employee has no right to touch you” as true but this guy should not have been knocked down.
    The greeter needs to learn that a physical confrontation will most likely to end with a problem. He has the option to call his security people if he feels he can’t deal with the customer.

  9. PinkBox says:

    @takotchi: At the same time, the “poor old man” was simply doing his job. There was no excuse for the guy to shove him so hard that it sent him flying.

  10. RandoX says:

    @ecwis: Oh, you mean like the article linked to in the summary?

  11. PølάrβǽЯ says:

    That’s so lame. Somebody illegally detains me by pushing against me with their shoulder, and they’re gonna be laying on the floor bleeding. I don’t care how old the guy is – you assault someone, you are asking to be assaulted in return.

    Sounds like this guy had a poor excuse for a lawyer and got screwed.

  12. This is the same guy from the post the other day…

    but at least now I know he was walking out with a bicycle.

  13. DeleteThisAccount says:

    @RandoX: I don’t know, those 75 year olds can be pretty obstinate… even if not Norris.

  14. RandoX says:

    Hope Wal-Mart employees have health insurance.

  15. ecwis says:

    @RandoX: I could’ve sworn that wasn’t there a minute ago…

  16. thirdbase says:

    There is a lesson to be learned here. Shoot out the security camera before decking the receipt checking greeter.

  17. I think it’s kinda funny to me on a personal level because I used to work on a street named Donald Lynch Bvd., the suspect’s name. No Wal-Mart there, but it does have a Target.

  18. PølάrβǽЯ says:

    @NameGoesHere: No, the “poor old man” was NOT doing his job. Walmart company policy clearly prohibits any employees (other than loss prevention associates, which people greeters are not) from attempting to stop or detain any customer for any reason. Also, obviously, Walmart employees are not allowed to physically assault customers.

    This guy was NOT doing his job; he broke company policy AND the law.

  19. soulman901 says:

    Chuck Norris’s beard will be just as leathal at 75 as it is now. He’s really immortal. He just ages to fool everyone. The last thing you will hear is him yelling SURPRISE!!!

  20. rdldr1 says:

    @takotchi: Blocking requires little to no physical contact, and its what MANY businesses do for inventory control. Shoving any person to the ground is A-S-S-A-U-L-T. What you dont understand is that while blocking someone from leaving a business is a bad business practice, the misdemeanor assault is far out of line and unwarranted. The customer had no right to physically hurt anyone, especially an employee.

  21. rmz says:

    @aaron8301: Because clocking someone so hard that they fall down bleeding is the adequate response to getting nudged by someone’s shoulder, right?

    Good lord, you sound like a ticking time bomb. What do you when someone cuts you off in traffic, open fire through your car window?

  22. Tux the Penguin says:

    @aaron8301: I hate to break it to you, but even if you are assaulted, you cannot just fly off the handle at that person. You can use “reasonable force” to defend yourself.

    However, say he was illegally restraining you and in the course of the struggle, you knocked him down. He does have an assault and battery claim against you. But you also have the same claim against him, as well as unlawfully detaining you. You might even be able to throw an unlawful conversion in there if any of your purchased goods were lost or destroyed as a result of him grabbing you.

    Personally, I’d let the court convict me and then I’d file civil charges against everyone without eyesight.

  23. ? graffiksguru says:

    I knew something like this was going to happen sooner or later. Will probably happen again, until we fix this shit. Either a separate exit, or “thank you” stickers on unbagged items, something.

  24. Moosehawk says:

    Maybe it’s getting a little out of hand?

    I mean comon Wal-Mart, stop trying to check out receipts, you’ll never win.

  25. ClayS says:

    @ecwis:
    Unlawful imprisonment.

  26. takotchi says:

    @rdldr1: Of course it requires physical contact! If somebody tries to leave, you have to stick your body in front of theirs and stop them. But, this person had no right to do that, and, if somebody is in your way, you have to push them out of the way. They might fall over, but, they took the risk of that when they tried to block your way.

  27. RandoX says:

    @aaron8301: Why stop at punching his lights out? Why not stab him? Or shoot him? Would stomping on his face and head be appropriate? Of course not. And why? Because it’s not a proportioned response to the offense. It’s called “self defense” because you feel that you are in personal, immediate, physical danger. If you honestly feel that you’re in danger of physical harm because the 75 year old dude at Wal-Mart put his hands on you, then perhaps you have some anxiety issues you need to explore.

    Don’t get me wrong, I’m a big supporter of the second ammendment, RKBA, defending yourself, etc. but punching a senior citizen just because you think you have the legal right to do so is wrong.

  28. SpdRacer says:

    @rmz: I prefer tossing hand grenades!

  29. DrGirlfriend says:

    This idea that it’s okay to shove someone to the floor because he stands between you and the exit just reeks of entitlement. “You piss me off, I’m entitled to do whatever I want to you.” Apparently, if you engage in a discussion with someone rather than use force, it makes you a wimp or something.

  30. bairdwallace says:

    I still think that if the greeter laid a hand on the guy, then the greeter is to blame, although I would definitely not have taken down an old man. However:

    “Lynch’s wife and four of their nine children …”

    9 children!?!! This guy may have too much testosterone…

  31. Tonguetied says:

    Yeah, that’s where I think the line gets blurry. I don’t believe in showing my receipt but I also don’t believe in knocking people over. The stores that station the sweet grandmotherly types at the doors are smart. I don’t want to show my receipt but I have a hard time saying no to grandma or grandpa…

  32. spawnofbill says:

    @aaron8301: Violence begets violence my friend, and that street goes both ways. You would still be arrested on charges of physical assault if the man was 20 years old! While yes, the ‘greeter’ shouldn’t have blocked the customer’s exit, the customer escalated the situation by increasing the amount of physicality. The ONLY time you are allowed to physically harm someone is if you believe that your life, or someone else’s life, is in danger: no exceptions. This threat then must be proven in a court of law with evidence if it is to be used as a defense.

    The ‘greeter’ might have broken the law, but so did the customer.

    I’ve worked retail, and while I’ve never been physically assaulted by a customer I’ve been dangerously close twice. Both times I defused the situation by reinforcing the fact that not only would they be spending the night in jail but that they probably wouldn’t land a hit on me. Now some of that is bluffing, I have studied martial arts for a couple of years and consider myself proficient, but not nearly to an expert level. In any case no one got hurt, except for maybe their pride.

    Words can be more powerful than actions sometimes, especially if you can make the other person believe them to be true.

    Violence is the LAST resort, even if someone has a gun pulled on you if at all possible defuse the situation. (But in all likelihood it isn’t possible to defuse the situation, so don’t leave yourself defenseless)

  33. @aaron8301 The greeter claims he did not touch the defendant, the tape, from what I’ve read, doesn’t show the greeter touching the defendant, only the greeter falling. So take it with a grain of salt that just because Mr. Lynch says he was pushed, that doesn’t make it true.
    —–
    And where is the common sense, he was walking out with a bicycle and that’s when he chose to assert his ‘right’ to not show a receipt? Christ, maybe I’m in the minority, but when I walk out with large unbagged items, I keep my receipt handy for occasions like this. I don’t care if we don’t have to stop and show proof of payment, we also don’t have to let traffic merge in front of us, but many of us, simply out of common decency, do.
    —–
    I’m calling this Receipt Rage

  34. ecwis says:

    @ClayS: Yes, I found it in the Washington criminal code.

    (1) A person is guilty of unlawful imprisonment if he knowingly restrains another person.

    (2) Unlawful imprisonment is a class C felony.
    [1975 1st ex.s. c 260 § 9A.40.040.]

    And…

    “Restrain” means to restrict a person’s movements without consent and without legal authority in a manner which interferes substantially with his liberty. Restraint is “without consent” if it is accomplished by (a) physical force, intimidation, or deception.
    [1975 1st ex.s. c 260 § 9A.40.010.]

    So the receipt checker blocked Lynch from exiting with “physical force” and “intimidation” yet Lynch was the one convicted of a misdemeanor?

  35. spawnofbill says:

    @alphafemale:

    “I’m calling this Receipt Rage”

    Dude, you need to trademark that stat! ;)

  36. gamehendge2000 says:

    I think what happened was that the presiding judge asked to see the perp’s receipt during the trial.

    The rest is history.

  37. ecwis says:

    @spawnofbill:

    The ONLY time you are allowed to physically harm someone is if you believe that your life, or someone else’s life, is in danger: no exceptions

    Do you have any evidence that warrants that statement? I simply don’t believe that is the case.

    For instance, if someone is punching and kicking you, can you only respond physically if you know that your life is in danger? Otherwise, you just sit there and take it?

  38. smitty1123 says:

    So, we’ve learned that Wal-Mart employees are dicks and Wal-Mart shoppers are assholes and when assholes collide with dicks, they get screwed.

    /not original, but applicable none the less…

  39. ClayS says:

    @ecwis:
    Right, I think they both did wrong. We’ve been down this receipt-checking road before. If you really don’t like to have to show your receipt, just shop in the multitude of stores that don’t have the requirement. Why look for confrontation?

  40. PinkBox says:

    @aaron8301: Psh… all the old man did was block him. You’ve been blocked before, yes? Usually that involves the other person standing in the way while blocking YOUR movement.

    I’d hardly say that should result in the old man being shoved the way he was. It sounds like the guy in question has a few anger issues.

  41. Buran says:

    @rmz: Yeah, that’s really freaking funny and worth snark, isn’t it? Mr. Lynch wasn’t a single woman, like I am, I don’t think the jibe at my concerns that I posted in one of the other receipt threads is warranted at all. I’m going to continue breaking free however I can if this ever happens to me, thank you. I’m not risking my life by allowing anyone to restrain me anywhere, and I don’t care if the receipt nazis don’t like it. They can ask. I will refuse. If they grab me, I will push them away from me. Not knock them down, of course, but I will ensure that they let go of me. And then I will run out the door, yelling for help if I have to.

    If you let your guard down once, you could wind up dead. Not for me, thanks.

  42. ecwis says:

    @alphafemale: Actually, you do have to let traffic merge. There are signs posted instructing drivers to merge. Disobeying the signs (refusing to merge) is a violation.

    In the Michigan Vechicle Code, for example, it is stated in Secton 257.671:

    A person who fails to obey a stop, yield, or merge sign erected pursuant to this section is responsible for a civil infraction.

  43. spawnofbill says:

    @ecwis:

    There are things you can do that will not intentionally cause GREATER harm to your assailant. For example, I could block those kicks and punches and pin him to the floor. This would disable his ability to harm me, and I have not caused any intentional harm to him.

    I will revise my statement a tad though, since I’m not a lawyer. You cannot respond with GREATER force that than which is being afflicted on you. From what I understand it’s a fairly muddy area in law, and varies greatly state-by-state but the general consensus is that if you escalate, you’re in the fault.

  44. @ecwis: While the statutes defining the legitimate use of force in defense of a person vary from state to state, the general rule makes an important distinction between the use of physical force and deadly physical force. A person may use physical force to prevent imminent physical injury, however a person may not use deadly physical force unless that person is in reasonable fear of serious physical injury or death. Most statutes also include a duty to retreat (notable exceptions include Louisiana and Florida: see stand-your-ground law), wherein deadly physical force may only be used if the person acting in self defense is unable to safely retreat. A person is generally not obligated to retreat if in one’s own home (for example, a person doesn’t have to retreat from the living room to the kitchen, then to the bedroom, then to the bathroom) in what has come to be called the “castle exception” (derived from the expression “A man’s home is his castle”).

    [en.wikipedia.org]
    &
    [en.wikipedia.org]

  45. PinkBox says:

    @ecwis: Punching/kicking has resulted in death before, actually.

  46. ecwis says:

    @ClayS: Well it’s hard to know where you’ll actually be checked for your receipt. I’ve been to Wal-marts quite often and I only remember one time where I was asked for a receipt. My local Wal-Mart has never asked for a receipt. I’m not even sure that it is a store policy.

  47. tstephen says:

    Pure comedy. Never did I think that that showing a receipt would become this big of an issue. Seesh.

  48. stuny says:

    Walmart needs to hire NYC-bouncer-sized “greeters” to kick some receipt-hider butt.

  49. Adposs says:

    @Buran If an old man stood in front of you to check your receipt you’d consider that a RISK TO YOUR LIFE? Do people with your level of paranoia even go outside, much less to major retail stores?

  50. uberbucket says:

    OMG, some geezer is standing in front of me, call Amnesty International for I have been so wronged.

    Seriously, assaulting a 75-year-old man over this? This shit is out of control.

  51. forgottenpassword says:

    so will the greeter be charged with kidnapping (blocking the exit & preventing the customer from leaving) and assault (by shoulder checking the customer when he tried to leave)?

    If you charge the customer with assault, wouldnt it be fair to do likewise to the greeter who blocked his exit & shoulder-checked the customer to prevent him from leaving?

    If I were the customer…. after all was said & done I’d sue the greeter and walmart for this incident.

    The employee started this mess by assaulting the customer first.

    What I want to know… is what are you supposed to do when someone blocks your exit (considered kidnapping under many jurisdictions)?

  52. ecwis says:

    @NameGoesHere: Yes, so do you have to determine whether or not the punching/kicking is fatal before you respond? No. So one can respond physically in other instances, not just those that are life-threatening.

  53. rjhiggins says:

    @aaron8301: I think I’ll steer clear of Aaron if I ever see him driving. Sounds like a case of road rage just waiting to happen.

  54. evslin says:

    @aaron8301 Somebody illegally detains me by pushing against me with their shoulder, and they’re gonna be laying on the floor bleeding.

    Oh look, an internet tough guy…

    What do you think that’s going to gain you in the long run? Donald Lynch already tried that, and instead of this being a case against false imprisonment or illegal detainment or whatever the hell the appropriate legal term is, it’s a case of somebody unleashing a “flying to the floor” level of violence against a god damn senior citizen.

    If you want to stop shit like this from happening, leaving a trail of broken, bleeding bodies in your wake should be a little bit further down your list of things to do.

  55. rjhiggins says:

    @ecwis: His post distinctly said if you “believe” your life is in danger. Why would you immediately misquote him in order to challenge what he’s saying.

  56. ecwis says:

    @spawnofbill: I wasn’t justifying Lynch’s actions. I was just saying that one can use physical force if their safety is being threatened, not simply in life-threatening cases. The post from Alphafemale above further explains this.

  57. davidc says:

    I want to see the video.

    It could be a case of “unreasonable” force used by the guy leaving the store. If somebody kind of half-heartedly gets in your way and you haul off and break his arm, well, that’s excessive force.

    This person might have deserved the conviction.

    Even though the walmart employee was BREAKING THE LAW, that doesn’t give you license to do ANYTHING you want. It has to be reasonable in the eyes of the court.

  58. rjhiggins says:

    @alphafemale: Better read up on your rules of the road. Merging is not a matter of politeness; it’s spelled out in traffic laws.

  59. ecwis says:

    @rjhiggins: Uhm sorry? I didn’t notice the difference. The case is the same and spanofbill revised his statement to say “You cannot respond with GREATER force that than which is being afflicted on you” which I believe is reasonable.

  60. davidc says:

    @graffiksguru: “Either a separate exit, or “thank you” stickers on unbagged items, something.”

    You just don’t get it do you?

    “Can I see your sticker please?” is no better then “can I see your receipt” … and the problem is not the question. They can *ask* whatever they want and if you willingly give up your rights, that’s your choice.

    The problem is when they try to stop you or detain you cause you DON’T agree to give up your rights. THAT is where the problem is.

    Business will eventually have to stop this practice. A couple of good lawsuits by semi-unstable person claiming distress and it will stop.

  61. greensmurf says:

    “”””” Security tape showed the greeter flying to the floor””””

    So I am wondering has anyone seen the video? That would pretty much say if his excessive force was warranted.
    What if it shows the old guy just blocking with his shoulder as in leaning against him?
    Does that warrant shoving a 75 year old man across the floor?
    Sorry im my opinion proportional responce was not used here.
    main issue here is this dude didnt think before he acted, he just went Rambo on the old guy.
    While it is not legal for walmart to demand to see your reciept. I dont get how people put more energy refusing to show their receipt which only results in lost time and energy(not to mention stress lvls)and confrontation, when just showing will take a second.

    My time is very valuable I would rather show my receipt and spend 5 seconds doing this, then spending 10-30 minutes or more in a confrontation.
    But that is just me, and its not about giving up my rights. After all the right to now show my reciept isnt on my top 10 list of things to fight for. There are plenty of other issues I would rather spend my energy standing up for.

  62. greensmurf says:

    @ecwis: I dont know about you but that old guy sure scared the crap out of me, I mean just look at him, he looks like a killer

    /sarcasm off.

    Its all about right time, right place and using the correct proprtional response.
    I mean give me a break this dude is 75 years old, the only 75 year old person I would be afraid of is Rambo…(wait how old is he now?)

  63. chrisjames says:

    This story is pretty poorly covered here, but if you assume that the greeter only fell to the floor after being pushed out of the way, that’s hardly misdemeanor assault. Even if the guy never touched Lynch, he should be allowed to push his way out the door if the greeter is unlawfully restraining him. In this case, I’d applaud Lynch for standing up for his rights. Walmart and all misguided, vigilante greeters beware: you can’t take the law into your own hands.

    Of course, there’s no reason to assume that it was just a push and that Lynch didn’t knock the crap out of the greeter. Also, although taking your rights seriously is important, it’s okay to play nice and just show your receipt. Show some compassion to the poor people who are unfortunate enough to have to work at Walmart. At least then, things won’t escalate to criminal record level.

  64. bravo369 says:

    I think it’s fair. The guy obviously stepped over the line. If he wants to step back and ask for a manger then go ahead. I am thinking what any reasonable person would/could do in that situation and i would hope violence is a last resort. Ask for a manager, cause a scene if you want but don’t go hitting a 75 year old guy. He’d have to be doing a lot more than just block the exit for me to hit him. The customer got what he deserved.

  65. caranguejo says:

    Unacceptable.

  66. davidc says:

    @ClayS

    if you really don’t like to have to show your receipt, just shop in the multitude of stores that don’t have the requirement. Why look for confrontation?

    Direct answer? All that is needed for the forces of evil to succeed is for enough good men to remain silent.

    I am not going to inconvience myself to shop elsewhere just because some walmart general manager or some receipt clerks decides to be ‘evil’.

    I will just exercises my rights. If they physically stop me, I will NOT BE SILENT but inform them they are breaking the law and take whatever steps are reasonable and necessary from there.

  67. Orv says:

    I set off the security alarm on my way out of a Wal-Mart yesterday. I’d dropped my receipt on my way from the check register to the door and had to go find it, as the “greeter” took my bag as soon as the alarm went off. At no point did they try to restrain me from leaving, but they did make it clear that if I didn’t find the receipt I’d be leaving without my purchases.

  68. no.no.notorious says:

    there goes that accountants firm!

  69. Orv says:

    @david.c: So…you think they’re evil, but you still want to give them your money?

    I guess I kind of view this the same way I view having to pay before I pump gas at the gas station. A decade ago I almost never had to pay up front to pump gas. I don’t like it, but I realize that we live in a society where a lot of people have no ethics. It’s unfortunate that people now steal so frequently that places are forced into these kinds of loss-prevention tactics.

  70. BugMeNot2 says:

    @ecwis:

    Actually, that is applicable to the person entering traffic, not the current flow of traffic. The “Merge” signs are for people entering the flow of traffic and it is their responsibility to yield to the flow of traffic and merge as safety allows. I, as a part of the regular flow of traffic, am under no legal obligation to allow oncoming traffic to enter the flow of traffic(check with your local state, of course). I could be the lone vehicle on the highway, and someone can be coming down an on ramp. I, being a jerk, decide not to change lanes and let him on. He, being an equal jerk, fails to slow down and yield to me. Our vehicles make contact and the law is called. Who gets the ticket? He does, for failure to yield. I may, at most, get a lecture from the police about courtesy, but even that is specious, as there are no eye-witnesses, so all they can go on are the facts: on-coming traffic failed to yield.

    All of that is to say that most of us, out of common courtesy, will in fact slow slightly, or change lanes, to allow on-coming traffic to safely merge. However, just as with receipt checking, I do it on a case-by-case basis. If it’s someone trying to enter the flow of traffic, I will always get over, if safety allows. If it’s someone who knows a lane ends, and chooses to use it to speed ahead of everyone else who has already merged, I will never let him in. I have an intersection on the way home where I deal with this daily because people get impatient and decide they don’t want to wait, so they’ll go into the right hand lane (that is right-turn only but extends through the stoplight to allow entrance into the sidestreet just past the light) and try to floor it past everyone.

    With receipt checking, if I set off the alarm, or if I think I may need to return an item later and know the pink mark needs to be on the receipt, I’ll stop. Any other time, no way.

  71. ecwis says:

    @greensmurf: As I said, “I wasn’t justifying Lynch’s actions.” I don’t know what your response has to do with what I said…

  72. BugMeNot2 says:

    @Orv:

    That’s a no-no, too. That would be theft on their part.

  73. Concerned_Citizen says:

    This is an extremely dangerous ruling. It will be overturned. You cannot allow a store employee to illegally detain or batter you because he is old and looks weak. If this stands every store that wants to check receipts is going to hire an old decrepit person because young people won’t be allowed to push through them. You block a persons exit, they have the right to push through you, period.

  74. Buran says:

    @Adposs: I consider any male who grabs me a threat. If you weren’t threatening me, why the hell were you grabbing me? As I said in the last thread, people can and do get kidnapped from stores. Sometimes by people who pass themselves off as employees.

    Normal people don’t grab other people. If you’re trying to grab someone, you’re up to no good.

  75. SOhp101 says:

    Just an FYI since so many people don’t seem to get it:

    Assault is acting intentionally and voluntarily causing the reasonable apprehension of an immediate harmful or offensive contact.
    Battery is intentionally bringing harmful or offensive contact with a person.
    False Imprisonment is to physically confine a person against their will.

    Yes, the receipt checker performed false imprisonment, HOWEVER there is something called shopkeeper’s privilege that allows an owner/manager/employees of a store to detain a person for a reasonable amount of time if they suspect the person has shoplifted.

    When you are detained and they will not let you leave, DO NOT use any form of physical force to leave the premises because then you will be guilty of both assault AND battery. Simply ask them to either show proof that their suspicions are justified, and if they still refuse, call the police so the issue can be handled quickly.

    Usually 30min would be the max that they could reasonably detain you and anything more than that then you can sue them for false imprisonment and likely win.

    When it comes to self-defense, it has to be reasonable–being pushed in the shoulder does not justify pushing the person to the ground, and the fact that the checker is an old man just makes his case worse.

    It’s important to stand up for your rights but you still have to use your brain.

  76. Jean-Baptiste Emanuel Zorg says:

    @forgottenpassword: What I want to know… is what are you supposed to do when someone blocks your exit (considered kidnapping under many jurisdictions)?

    If an employee blocks an exit, just use a different exit. If they block that one too, then you are being detained. In many states merchants have a legal right to detain you under some circumstances. If you think your detention is improper, don’t try to escape – call the police.

    Punching the door guard in the face because he blocks your way is not self defense, it’s a severe overreaction, and it’s assault. Yes, if their detention of you is improper, it may be a crime, and it is almost certainly an actionable tort, but it still doesn’t justify the use of physical force on your part.

    And please – a store employee blocking your exit is not kidnapping. In any jurisdiction. That’s exactly the kind of overblown rhetoric that leads to internet tough guy syndrome in these discussions (not you, but at least one poster above. Odds are he believes the same thing)

    Even in those situations where you are legally entitled to use force to defend yourself, you are limited to an appropriate level and amount of force. If someone grabs your arm, wrenching your arm away or perhaps pushing the offender away with your free hand might be appropriate. Punching him in the face is not.

    It sounds to me like this guys seriously overreacted. Maybe it was an inability to control his temper. Maybe it was just plain old ignorance. Either way, he manged to take a situation where he was completely in the right and turn it into one where he was almost completely in the wrong.

    If you’re going to stand up for your rights, you need to understand what they are and how far they extend first.

    I’m glad he was convicted. He’s the kind of guy that makes all the sheep bleat out “Jeeez… just show your receipt, guys”. Then again, maybe a few more well publicized cases of some asshole overreacting and beating the shit out of a door guard will encourage the stores to drop the practice altogether.

  77. SkokieGuy says:

    We are actually debating the amount of violence that is appropriate to administer to a 75 year old man? You don’t get tough guy points for preying on the weak. Several posters here sound like knuckle-dragging Neanderthals, the types who witness a bar fight and take turns telling their buddies what THEY would have done and how tough THEY would be. Talk is cheap.

    No one has to give up their right to not be detained, but there are so many other ways of dealing with this issue. If the bicycle purchaser had used his cellphone to document his illegal detainment and called the police, he might have been looking at a lawsuit and a settlement check from Walmart, not a criminal conviction.

    So all these passionate talk. Exactly how many posters have written to a company that receipt-checks as policy to protest the illegal action? Lots of talk here, which doesn’t create change. Take action right now:

    Contact Walmart: [walmartstores.com]

  78. greensmurf says:

    @ecwis: I realize that that you were not defending him, I was trying make a point using sarcasm in response to:

    –”” I was just saying that one can use physical force if their safety is being threatened, not simply in life-threatening cases.””—

    I should have worded it differently, I was trying to point out that who would feel like their safety was threatened by a 75 year old man (hence my Rambo reference) even if he shoved the guy.
    It wasnt aimed at you, The problem that a lot of people have is that they think if someone shoves them, or lays a hand on them it means they have permission to open up the preverbal Can O’ Whoop ass.
    Its all about proportional response most people don’t understand the concept.

  79. Jean-Baptiste Emanuel Zorg says:

    @ClayS:

    If you really don’t like to have to show your receipt, just shop in the multitude of stores that don’t have the requirement. Why look for confrontation?

    If I stopped shopping in every store that has a single policy that I think they should change, I’d be pretty limited. No, I’ll continue to shop where I like even though I don’t like to show my receipt, because I’m well aware of my right to say “no” when they ask to see my personal belongings. If more customers exercised their right to say “No, thank you” stores would stop this odious practice.

    Why look for confrontation?

    Since when is going about your own business, doing nothing wrong, and ignoring a rude personal request from a stranger considered “looking for confrontation”?

  80. scoosdad says:

    @BayStateDarren: Ah now we know the truth. You worked at the Best Buy, go on, admit it!

  81. ecwis says:

    @SkokieGuy: I actually just sent off an email to Leslie Dach of Corporate Affairs. He’s out of the office today though. :-/

  82. greensmurf says:

    @SOhp101: Thank you, you pretty much put it in black and white. Unfortunately some people will still not get it
    :)

  83. Jean-Baptiste Emanuel Zorg says:

    @SkokieGuy:

    Exactly how many posters have written to a company that receipt-checks as policy to protest the illegal action?

    Asking for a receipt is not an “illegal action.” It’s just a minor annoyance. For the most part, it’s an extremely minor one, as it takes almost no effort whatsoever for me to say “No thanks” as I walk out.

    As for writing a letter to WalMart, I’m sorry that my form of “taking action” doesn’t reach the level you consider necessary to “create change”. But it’s good enough for me.

  84. RandoX says:

    @SOhp101: I agree with you except for one thing. Shopkeeper’s Privilege can usually only be invoked in the event that an employee witnesses the theft, and not simply suspects theft because the customer refuses to produce the receipt.

  85. Jean-Baptiste Emanuel Zorg says:

    SOhp101 at 02:49 PM:
    It’s important to stand up for your rights but you still have to use your brain.

    TinyBug at 02:49 PM:If you’re going to stand up for your rights, you need to understand what they are and how far they extend first.

    Great minds not only think alike, they also post at exactly the same time.

  86. Cap'n Jack says:

    I said before that this receipt protesting was ridiculous behavior. Enjoy your jail time.

  87. GrandizerGo says:

    @stuartny:
    There always bigger people…
    Even Chuck Norris would be hard put to take on a Jet Li…
    Maybe if Chuck Had Mr. T there as well…
    Yeah, and then Mr. Li would call in Optimus Prime!

    Tag Team!!!

  88. GrandizerGo says:

    I actually think that the training of the greeter was in error.

    Any training that does not cover a unruly customer is incomplete from the beginning.

    If he was properly trained, and he forgot, that is a problem that should also be dealt with.

    At no time should someone working for such a store stop someone from exiting the premises.

  89. girly says:

    @ClayS: It’s not a requirement of the store, it’s a request.

    That’s why people should still feel free to shop at such stores.

    The 75 year old guy did the wrong thing blocking the guy, but the CPA guy overreacted for sure!

  90. girly says:

    @GrandizerGo: Thank you. How hard is it to train your employees to ‘not be a hero’? You don’t have to cover every scenario to tell them they should not block the egress of customers.

  91. redheadedstepchild says:

    So wait, is this like taking the charge?

    The geezer had all four feet of his walker planted?

  92. The Porkchop Express says:

    @aaron8301: tough guy. ok, so some old guy pushed into you with his shoulder and you’re gonna take him out? good for you, mommy must not have hugged you enough as a kid. Does your wife/girlfriend beat you up or something? why are you trying to be so tough, on the internet?

    People, just because someone touches you doesn’t mean you can beat them to a pulp or throw them to the ground, was this guy in fear for his life? I doubt it. Aaron8301, would you have been in fear for your life? I doubt it. If you’re not in fear for your life you have no reason (and probably no right) to use this amount of force.

  93. ManiacDan says:

    @RandoX: Why NOT shoot him? I live in Texas, and as much as I hate living here, if someone assaults me (including an old man pushing me) I have the legal right to defend myself with deadly force. I know the guy was old, but that means he’s old enough to know that if you push someone, you may get pushed back.

    I hope this guy has a better lawyer for his appeal, if we make a legal precedent that says “you can’t defend yourself against assault if you happen to be standing in the store where the assailant works” we’re in for a lot of trouble.

  94. arsbadmojo says:

    The “Greeter” was totally in error, and I’m one of the biggest supporters you will ever find of not showing my receipt; but sending him flying was a very poor way of handling it.

    I for one, have never had to get unpleasant with a door nazi. If an escalation is going to happen, it will be from the store, and as long as you’re being polite yet firm – I just don’t see how it gets to the point of violence.

  95. hi says:

    @Lo-Pan: Don’t cry when you assault someone and then you yourself get assaulted back.

  96. rwakelan says:

    @SOhp101: But to use shopkeeper’s privilege, there must be reasonable suspicion of theft. Refusing to show a receipt has precedent as not being reasonable suspicion of theft. Therefore, it does not apply in this case.

  97. @scoosdad: Actually the hockey arena, but I see we both know the area.

  98. Concerned_Citizen says:

    I find it insulting that people are defending a store employee that grabbed a person. You have no right to grab someone leaving your store(especially after they actually went through the register and paid). And you have no idea the kind of person someone is. If your willing to just go and grab random people, you’re going to have to be prepared to receive any extreme actions they end up taking. You may not be willing to shove someone who grabs you, but others may have that reaction as an instinct. In conclusion, don’t grab random people.

  99. WraithSama says:

    @alphafemale:

    Yes! You just coined a wonderful new phrase. I’ll have to work that into casual conversation.

  100. riverstyxxx says:

    Self defense, the greeter had no legal authority to do that.

  101. moviemoron says:

    @aaron8301:
    I agree 100% with you Aaron. It doesn’t matter how old yo are. If you shove me, I will shove you back. Period. I don’t care if you are 20 or 73. I hope he appeals the conviction.
    You know, I can really see this as getting to the point where someone will get killed over the receipt. You have road rage, now there will be receipt rage.

  102. Aph says:

    Eh a good example of ageism.
    If blocking customers at the door is in your job description then start working out old man. I know how insensitive that sounds but on the flip he wouldn’t be getting the extra attention for being 75.
    Shit the media attention and lawsuits and other costs associated with stopping people at the door to make sure they aren’t stealing cant possibly compare to the loss of merchandise any customer could even pull out of there while dual weilding shopping carts STUFFED

  103. girly says:

    Yes there’s a right to self defense, but I believe it has to be somewhere in the neighborhood of the original risk. You can’t kill someone because they shoved you…

    The CPA over-reacted

    Don’t be a bunch of baby-punchers :
    (warning some profanity in video)

  104. girly says:

    By the way, I know the CPA didn’t kill him…but pushing him to the ground was a bit much, especially considering he’s older and that makes him physically weaker.

    It’s just someone else said they could use ‘deadly force’ in self defense. I’m pretty sure you can’t do that for just any old self-defense reason.

  105. greensmurf says:

    @ManiacDan: So a 75 year old man pushes you and you pull out your gun and shoot him, which results in his death.
    Yeah that sounds pretty balanced to me.
    Please be sure to let me know what the judge says when you rationalize such an action with the statement, “Well Judge I live in Texas and this guy shoved me so I was only exercising my Legal right to defend myself with deadly force?”

  106. LatherRinseRepeat says:

    Why do stores even check receipts any more? It doesn’t prevent shrinkage. It just wastes people’s time and annoys paying customers.

    From the last few times I’ve been to Best Buy, the security guy at the exit doesn’t even ask. He just looks you up and down to make sure you’re not hiding a washing machine under your coat, then smiles, and tells you to have a nice day.

    ATTN: Big Box Retail Stores..

    Your employees steal from the store, more than the customers. How about hassling them instead?

  107. KJones says:

    And yet when I said: “Call the police if you want my receipt checked. I’ll wait.”

    Some clueless morons flipped out and said I was being unreasonable.

  108. Benny Gesserit says:

    I don’t care if the f*cker’s 150yo – if he touches me without my permission, he’s going DOWN.

  109. AlphaUltima says:

    you people are sad.
    what if a 5 year old starts shoving you?
    or a chihuahua bites your heel?
    kick it ten feet in the air?
    learn some common sense people.
    an eye for an eye leaves everyone blind.

  110. rellog says:

    For those trying to support the “poor” underpaid employees, it is AGAINST Walmart policy to detain anyone for not showing their receipt. This greeter over-stepped his bounds both legally and with regards to corporate policy. He has no one to blame but himself.

  111. rellog says:

    @AlphaUltima: If a chihuahua starts biting my heel… then HELL YES I would punt that sucker across the yard… A dog needs to know its place…

  112. attackgypsy says:

    @rmz: I have the wife roll the window down first. Car windows are expensive.

  113. StevieD says:

    Criminal goes to jail.

  114. @riverstyxxx: Please tell me your kidding about that. Self-defense? Was the old man gonna assault, rape, or kill him? A geriatric detaining non-forcefully at his place of work is by no means an imminent threat. If he felt his rights were being violated and there was no imminent threat of bodily harm, then he should have called the cops.

    And if you were joking about that, well then I’m just an idiot.

  115. rdldr1 says:

    @takotchi: You’re argument of “he started it first” will NEVER, and apparently has not held up in court.

    “If somebody is in your way, you have to push them out of the way.”

    You are simply taking the situation out of context. Within the context of the incident, the greeter asked the man to show his receipt and got in the man’s way. Any contact or not, there is no crime being commited. When the customer shoves the greeter to the floor in a malicious manner, a crime has been committed. Im not a lawyer, and i can tell that you are not a lawyer. A judge ruled that you cannot lawfully assault a store employee who asked a customer for a reciept.

  116. ShariC says:

    This sort of problem occurs because the receipt checking places the employee who enforces the policy in jeopardy when doing his job. Stores that insist on receipt checking need to develop a system which doesn’t require checkers to put themselves in a position where they have to block customers from leaving.

    I think the worst part about receipt checking is that it’s not about the customer stealing things but employees who use accomplices to sneak out items by not ringing them up. The customers are being inconvenienced by a problem which belongs to the store.

    At the very least all customers should be clearly informed of such policies before entering the store and told they should not shop there if they disagree with that policy.

  117. ecwis says:

    @rdldr1:

    the greeter asked the man to show his receipt and got in the man’s way. Any contact or not, there is no crime being commited

    He was blocking Lynch from leaving so I believe that would be unlawful imprisonment. The criteria for that crime…

    A person is guilty of unlawful imprisonment if he knowingly restrains another person.
    [1975 1st ex.s. c 260 § 9A.40.040.]

    “Restrain” means to restrict a person’s movements without consent and without legal authority in a manner which interferes substantially with his liberty. Restraint is “without consent” if it is accomplished by (a) physical force, intimidation, or deception.
    [1975 1st ex.s. c 260 § 9A.40.010.]

  118. notallcompaniesareevil says:

    @aaron8301: I, for one, don’t doubt your masculinity for a second. You’ve convinced me.

  119. girly says:

    @ShariC: It’s as simple as the fact that it is their ‘official’ policy not to enforce because they can’t. If they haven’t seen you take anything, all they can do is kick you out, and you are leaving anyway.

    They could perhaps ban you from future visits at worst.

    Now either they are putting pressure on employees or somehow letting them think they need to enforce this voluntary policy.

    Even if they clearly stated before you made a purchase that you need to show the receipt, you could still choose not to do it since you already own the item. Once again, the most they could do is kick you out and/or ban you from future visits.

    Because your transaction is already complete at the register, their power to make you cooperate just isn’t there…

  120. stuny says:

    1. Buy a chihuahua.
    2. Staple receipt to dogs head.
    3. Go to Walmart
    4. When Greeter stops you for your receipt, whack him in the head with the chihuahua.
    5. As he is falling to the ground ask him why people at the exit are called Greeters. Should they say hello as you are walking out?
    6. Write to Consumerist and declare that it is your God-given right as an American to whack old people with dead dogs as long as you don’t shoplift as much as employees do.

  121. CharlieSeattle says:

    @SOhp101: There is no such thing in the state of Washington. From crime prevention association of Washington:

    [wscp.innw.com]

    Detaining the Shoplifter

    Before either the civil or the criminal penalties can be used, the retailer must first apprehend the shoplifter. If done correctly, the retailer exposes himself to little risk of false arrest suits.

    State law allows you to detain a suspect if there are reasonable grounds to believe that the person shoplifted in your store. The following are the critical elements to consider before making an apprehension:

    * Did you or another reliable witness see the suspect conceal merchandise or remove it from the store? Before taking action on a witness report, verify that the witness will appear in court, if necessary.

    * Are you positive that the merchandise concealed or taken was store property and not the property of the suspect?

    * Are you sure that the merchandise was not replaced on the shelf?

    * Had the suspect possibly already paid for this merchandise?

    * Was the suspected shoplifter acting in a suspicious manner?

    Although the law does provide that the concealment of merchandise creates an inference of intent, and that such concealment justifies detention, other suspicious actions will reinforce your position in court. “Criminal intent” can be inferred if the suspect’s movements are evasive or furtive.

  122. CharlieSeattle says:

    I think they both were in the wrong. Myself I wouldn’t have shoved him, I would have simply opened my cell phone and dialed 911, and while on the phone, I would explain to the 911 operator I was being un-lawfuly detained by wal-mart, and to please send an officer. I’ve done the same thing at Costco, and they back off as soon as I made the threat to call the police. And for you pansies out there that say oh well you signed a contract with costco, I didn’t sign my right away to stand in a long line at checkout, then another huge line at the door. I had recently had knee surgery, I was in a lot of pain by the time I got to the stupid receipt check line, so I simply walked around it. Then they went nuts, chased after me, telling me to stop, now this was actually outside the store, they blocked my vehicle. So I told the twit, I was calling the police. They moved, I called corp, that if they ever unlawfully detained me again, that I would sue them. I got an apology from he Manager the next day.

  123. Klink says:

    @RandoX: Chuck Norris doesn’t age, he ferments.

  124. ecwis says:

    @stuartny: Why is it necessary for the dog to die!? I think he could survive. :-)

  125. SOhp101 says:

    @RandoX, rwakelan, CharlieSeattle: Yes, ideally they are only allowed to invoke shopkeepers’ privilege when they have reasonable suspicion, but they can BS their way into justifying their actions to a cop, and you leaving the ‘alleged scene’ and forcing the cop to track you down isn’t going to help your side of the story.

    I strongly believe that every person should refuse to show his/her receipt and I strongly believe in rights to privacy but that doesn’t change the fact that sometimes showing a receipt will easily alleviate a situation that can eat up hours of your time.

    When you’re leaving and they ask you to see your receipt, refuse. If they don’t let you leave the store, calmly let them know of your rights, that they are violating them, and that you will let corporate as well as the police know of their unethical/illegal behavior if they still refuse to let you leave. When the cops come (if it still comes to this), then make sure you tell everything in a calm and manner.

  126. Poopchutes-n-Ladders says:

    What normally happens when a person gets in the way of a moving object? They risk getting knocked the fuck down, right? If I’m walking out a store and you decide to step in front of me, we are going to collide and one or both of us are going to fall down. Who fault would that be, mine for trying to go about my business my lawfully acquired merchandise or yours for trying to impede my movement because you have an unfounded belief that I am a thief? You saw me and intentionally got in my way.

    Receipt checking at all these stores is a crock. You want proof of purchase? Review the video that you have of the cashiers and you will see me pay for my items. Think I stole something? Then say so and have proof. Don’t have proof? Then you shouldn’t be stopping me in the first place.

  127. YouCanEatMe says:

    He shouldn’t have pushed to old man but I for one have a thing about being touched physically by strangers. They’re told ONCE, not to touch, after that they’re picking their teeth up. Guy tried to have arrested for drifting him one in the chops once. He explained the situation, Cop looked at him and said you assaulted him, he defended himself, pray he doesn’t want to press charges stop wasting our time. I though about having him hauled off, but I figured a fat lip, and being humiliated in front of his wife and daughter as well as the people on the street was plenty.

  128. YouCanEatMe says:

    BTW. “May I see your receipt please”, answered by a stern “fuck off” whilst still moving is just as effective.

  129. pwik says:

    This has been on my “pisses me off list” for a couple of years now. I decided to write to Best Buy, which frosts my butt the most, and find out what their “official” policy is. Received the following back:
    ——————
    Thu, 20 Mar 2008 16:12:52 -0500 (CDT)
    From: “Best Buy Consumer Relations” Add Mobile Alert
    To: [address]
    Subject: Re: General Questions

    Thank you for contacting Best Buy about your recent store experiences.
    I’m Kristopher with Consumer Relations.

    I apologize for any frustration that you have experienced when exiting
    our stores. Currently, Best Buy has a policy of asking to see
    customers’ receipts at the store’s exit. This procedure protects our customers
    by verifying that they have been charged for the correct product(s).
    Compliance to this request is voluntary, and customers are not required to
    present their receipt upon leaving the store.

    It is my understanding that the majority of our stores are aware of
    this policy. So that I can follow up with any stores that may not be in
    full compliance, please reply with the store locations that you visited
    that displayed the actions that you described.

    Thank you for sharing your comments with Best Buy. Please do not
    hesitate to contact us with additional questions or concerns.
    ———

    So there you go. Let’s hope that my local BB is one of the “majority”.