Witness: Target Worker Wrestled, Choked Female Customer

Yesterday, Cherie was shopping at a Target in Cincinnati when she claims she witnessed a Target loss prevention associate “brutally detain, wrestle, strike and choke a shopper for more than three minutes.”

According to Cherie, a female shopper was confronted near the electronic anti-theft gates inside the store. “Immediately, the employee placed her hands on the woman’s shoulders and began forcefully pushing up against her trying to bring her to the ground,” she recalls.

Continues Cherie:

The shopper, larger than the loss prevention associate, began to push back and started to scream at the employee because she appeared to be honestly confused about what was going on. The loss prevention associate, dressed in all black, never identified herself as an employee of Target or shared with the shopper why she was restraining her. While both women continued to push and strike each other, the shopper asked for help and for someone to call a manager or the police. The employee finally communicated with the shopper and told her that the manager was on his way. Repeatedly the shopper asked for the employee’s name and for her to stop.

At this point the Target employee violently pinned the shopper against the interior doors and began to choke the woman. The shopper never exited the building and did not have any items on her body at all during this melee. All her actions, including striking back at the other woman, were in self-defense. She was wearing a thin, zebra-print slipdress, so concealing items would not have been an easy feat and would have fallen out during the intense struggle. The items in question were several feet away still in the Target shopping basket.

I asked my partner to take my 6-year-old daughter out to the car and wait for me because I felt as though I had to do something because the situation was wrong on so many levels. After watching the employee start to choke the woman, I was the only one to step forward and tell the Target employee to stop. It was evident to several witness and myself that the actions of the loss prevention associate were clearly wrong.

Startled by my intervention, both women, still with their hands on each other, moved through the first set of interior doors into the area directly in front of the exterior exit doors. Again, the employee began to violently restrain the shopper and the woman continued to defend herself. Eventually, their fight spilled through the exterior doors and continued onto the sidewalk.

A few moments later, a store manager came upon the scene and told his employee to let go of the woman. She did so immediately and the shopper stopped defending herself. The shopper continuously asked for the name of the loss prevention employee and the manager and then started to yell that she was going to sue. She told him that she was being choked and hurt and he only said that the police are on their way. For a few minutes, the manager, the loss prevention employee, and the shopper continued to argue with each other while I watched and waited to speak with the manager.

Cherie attempted to take photos with her phone, but was spotted by the loss prevention associate, who she says told her to stop and not to get involved. The above image is the only one she was able to snap.

“I walked up to the manager and told him that I witnessed his employee choke and strike this woman,” she says. “He bluntly told me that he didn’t care and if I had something to say to save it for the police and to stay out of the matter.”

The police arrived on the scene a few minutes later but Cherie says no one was arrested and the officer would not take her statement.

Consumerist contacted the local police chief, who had a different version of events:

Someone from the Target store called for the police to respond to the store because a shoplifting suspect was “struggling” with loss prevention officer, who was a female, approximately 5’0″ tall and 100 lbs. The officers were dispatched to a “Theft in Progress,” “security struggling with suspect.” While officers were enroute to the store, the suspect broke away from the female loss prevention officer and fled the store. The suspect then got into a van, fled the lot and was not located.

Deputies from the Hamilton County Sheriff’Office and officers from Colerain Police arrived and attempted to learn what had occurred. As that was going on, a female approached a Colerain supervisor and told him what she witnessed along with her feelings about security being able to place hands on persons suspected of committing a theft offense in their store. The supervisor advised the female that the security officer had the same rights as any individual to defend themselves when they are being assaulted. The female disagreed. A second unrelated person approached the supervisor and told the supervisor that they witnessed the incident and the store security/loss prevention didn’t do anything wrong in the handling of the shoplifter.

This incident occurred after 7:30 pm and Colerain officers secure from their duties at 8 pm. Because of the late hour, the investigation of the incident was handled by a deputy from the Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office. The Colerain supervisor passed the information from the female to the Sheriff’s Deputy and because the threat was gone and there were no suspects still on scene, he left the store to secure for the shift. The store security/loss prevention officer also spoke to the female who felt the incident was not handled correctly. The store security officer advised the female to contact the Target Corporate Office to speak to them about the incident if she felt it was not handled correctly.

We did contact Target HQ in Minnesota to ask what their policy is regarding use the use of force against suspected shoplifters. They replied: “At Target, the safety and security of our guests and team members is our highest priority. We aim to provide all our guests with a superior shopping experience. Target has an apprehension policy coupled with comprehensive training for our team members. We take guest input seriously and are looking into this matter.”

A rep for Target said that if you see a loss prevention associate using excessive force, you should go to the Guest Service desk and ask to speak to the manager. In cases like this — where the manager was directly involved in the argument — they suggest you e-mail Guest.Relations@target.com

Comments

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  1. Oranges w/ Cheese says:

    If the witness account is true, I think that the loss protection officer (especially if not wearing easily identifiable brand clothing, i.e. black when all target employees wear red) should have to identify themselves much earlier then they did in this instance. Otherwise, how are we to know it isn’t some random shopper attempting to accost us?

    • pecan 3.14159265 says:

      I’m racking my brain but I don’t think I’ve ever seen a Target employee wearing black.

      • alisonann says:

        I’m pretty sure most loss-prevention employees wear plain clothes.

        • AstroPig7 says:

          The loss prevention officer at my local Target wears a security guard’s uniform.

          • marlathetourist says:

            A long time ago I worked Loss Prevention at Target and there are 2 different kinds of security officers, the uniformed ones and the plain clothes ones. The uniformed officers are just used to give the illusion of security and cannot actually stop anyone from anything. Only the plain clothes officers are allowed to stop people and make arrests. The uniformed officers are esentially just paid living statues who used to have to check reciepts like Walmart but Target apparently realized that was no longer a good idea because I havent seen them do that in several years.

        • Oranges w/ Cheese says:

          Even so, they need to identify themselves, or people with personal protection training and/or concealed weapons could make their day end very poorly.

          Just because they wear plain clothes so they can easily catch shoplifters doesn’t mean that they shouldn’t identify themselves as soon as they put hands on you.

        • bravohotel01 says:
        • midwestkel says:

          I agree in general they do, like other stores, but I have only seen them wear security uniforms at Target.

      • AustinTXProgrammer says:

        The LP officer’s at my target where black security guard like uniforms with target logos on the sleeves.

        If someone ran up to me and grabbed me without saying anything I might end up killing them (Marshal Arts or concealed weapon) if it doesn’t get sorted out VERY quickly. I take MY personal safety seriously and it sounds like this lady would have been correct to fear for her life.

        • NightSteel says:

          I’m not normally one to be a grammar or spelling nazi, so I apologize, but saying you’d hurt someone with ‘marshal’ arts when the word is ‘martial’ almost begs for the ‘internet tough guy’ pic.. might want to watch that one!

        • tbax929 says:

          OMG, you’re spelling is atrocious. A typo is one thing, but do you really think that’s how you spell martial arts? Also, it’s “wear”. You don’t use an apostrophe to make a word plural. There are other issues with your post, but let’s start there.

          I am also not a grammar Nazi, but I just had to comment on your post.

          • jesirose says:

            Is this irony? I want to make sure before the irony police attack.

            “OMG, you’re spelling is atrocious.”

          • Puddy Tat says:

            tbax,

            No your the spelling police, a total new and exciting division.

            • DigTheFunk says:

              please, PLEASE tell me you used “your” instead of “you’re” intentionally…I’m already hurting from all the stupid in this thread :(

          • MustardTiger says:

            Seriously… If you’re going to be a dick about grammar, at LEAST don’t fuck up the first line.

          • AustinTXProgrammer says:

            Fair enough, that is probably one of the worst posts ever… Maybe I should stop trying to squeeze posts in at work between 200 other tasks and relying on the browsers spell check to catch my mistakes.

            I normally hate these types of responses, but I deserved it.

            I would like to say I believe my horrible post was a result of distraction and haste and I really don’t think that is how any of that should have been posted. The distraction can lead to more than just typo types of stupidity.

            And posted again without a read through, so it is what is it.

      • TheGreySpectre says:

        The loss prevention officers I have seen where what looks like a police uniform, only all the the police logos are target logos and patches.

        • catastrophegirl chooses not to fly says:

          i’ve seen the same thing at several target stores in my area – what is a clearly identifiable security uniform

      • RevancheRM says:

        I’ve seen LP personnel wearing black. Not in all stores, but at the one store I’m familiar with they hover near the front doors.

    • GuyGuidoEyesSteveDaveâ„¢ says:

      It’s weird, but if you look at the original photo Cherie posted below: http://i.imgur.com/auyvF.jpg the guard appears to be wearing an all black uniform, but the guards right arm also looks distorted, so perhaps there was ID, but the image was corrupted in the camera and that’s why it looks so weird/blurry in that particular spot.

      • FredKlein says:

        The arm was moving when the shot was taken, that’s all.

        • GuyGuidoEyesSteveDaveâ„¢ says:

          Weird then that when you look at the photo in an error level mode, that area shows a lot more noise than most of the other picture…

          • FredKlein says:

            Maybe there is indeed a defect in the camera. Either optically or electronically. I really don’t see the relevance. Unless you are hinting that the pic was altered deliberately, in which case I ask the question: Why? What was in/on the LP’s arm/hand that ‘required’ removal? Does it make a difference?

  2. humphrmi says:

    Is it me, or does that Target manager’s hair look like it’s a fine line away from becoming an Ed Grimly?

  3. Thresher says:

    I am not a violent person, but if I were ever put in that situation, the Target person would be going down.

    • ellemdee says:

      They’re lucky the customer didn’t have a CCW/CPL. As far as the customer knew, this was just a random person attacking her (though it doesn’t make it any less wrong that it was an employee).

    • YouDidWhatNow? says:

      Perhaps why the target was a 100 pound woman.

      If the same had happened to me – and by no means am I a “bruiser” – at 5’9″ and 200 pounds, the Target wretch would be spending the next several days trying to remember who they were.

      No, I’ve never been in a fight before – never thrown a punch in my life. But that would pretty much do it right there.

      • CherieBerry says:

        She was not 100 lbs. Here is a photo: http://imgur.com/auyvF.jpg

        • YouDidWhatNow? says:

          Oh, well even as such…not meaning anyone to take this the wrong way, but attacking her would still be quite different than attacking me. My sentiment still stands.

        • CalicoGal says:

          Is that really a “she”?

          also, is that woman in the zebra dress holding a cane with her purse???

          • CherieBerry says:

            Yes, she walked with a limp. The cane dropped to the floor as the fight began.

            • GuyGuidoEyesSteveDaveâ„¢ says:

              What about that bag. Wouldn’t concealing something in that bag be an “easy feat”, and with the buckle, not likely to fall out?

              • YouDidWhatNow? says:

                Even so, $ (can I call you $?), even if she was concealing something in there, the LP guy/gal/androgenous Pat doesn’t have the right to attack and choke her.

                • GuyGuidoEyesSteveDaveâ„¢ says:

                  Well, looking at the picture full size, the LP seems to have something wrong with her right arm, so she looks like she would have a disadvantage in a fight. That said, as you may have seen in the video I shot last holiday season, they can detain you, and if you fight with them, they have a right to defend themselves. I’m surprised the cops who were there in Cherie’s account didn’t have EMS called out if she was choked. Usually they would get it in a report than you refused medical assistance, so they can’t easily be help liable if you develop complications later.

                  • YouDidWhatNow? says:

                    According to the account, it doesn’t sound like the LP was simply trying to detain her – no was what she was doing self-defense. At face value, this is about the LP attacking the customer and then choking her.

                    Which she/he/Janet Reno doesn’t have the right to do.

            • GuyGuidoEyesSteveDaveâ„¢ says:

              Wait, if she was pushing a cart, why would she be using a cane? And if it was one of those hand baskets, why did she still have it after she checked out, and did she have both the “cane” and that huge bag in the same hand?

          • GuyGuidoEyesSteveDaveâ„¢ says:

            Doesn’t look like it, unless that cane has a buckle in it. It looks like one of those bags with the long straps. Also, if that IS a cane, it’s way to short, as it’s in her hand and not touching the ground.

        • GuyGuidoEyesSteveDaveâ„¢ says:

          What is up with the LP officers right arm? It looks real short weird compared to the rest of the photo. Also, there’s a lot of noise there as well, compared to the rest of the picture, when viewed in error level analysis…

      • pecan 3.14159265 says:

        No, it says the loss prevention officer was 100 pounds.

    • rewind says:

      To the would-be Loss-Prevention Professionals out there, where ever you are,

      I keep 2-3 knives on me at any time (better to be prepared than regretful), with one always on either side of my body (in case one arm is disabled). I may keep up to 2 of these in “plain sight”, while at least one is not.

      If I am assaulted, the thigh is first. If that doesn’t stop you, the neck is last.

      Of course, I don’t shoplift, so I don’t *expect* to be detained.

      • GuyGuidoEyesSteveDaveâ„¢ says:

        You do know you have to use justifiable force/a proportional response, right? If someone grabs your shoulder in a store after an alarm goes off, and you stab/shoot them, you will have to prove in court that your response was justified and you had no other options.

        And here’s a tip: carrying all those knives on you, some of which are exposed like that, may make you look VERY bad to a jury, especially if the other side finds out your internet handle and while reading posts like this pulls the knives in evidence out one at a time and opens/unsheathes them in front of the jury. That’s why some people keep their home protection firearm(s) as stock. Adding black tactical grips/stocks, extra round holders, flashlights, etc… makes you look less like a concerned/protective citizen, and more like the “storm trooper” that people see kicking down doors and grabbing Elian Gonzalez.

        • nelsonj1998 says:

          Grabbing a shoulder doesn’t warrant the use of deadly force.. pinning somebody to the ground and choking them just might.

        • Joey_Brill says:

          Worry not; people who carry that many knives are forced to wait in the car while Mother shops.

  4. Miss Dev (The Beer Sherpa) says:

    Cherie should have immediately filmed it, as this guy did: http://abcnews.go.com/US/video/security-guards-attack-deaf-man-11394612

    With so many different versions of events, I would be interested to see a video of what actually happened, but, alas, my wish won’t be granted.

  5. NightSteel says:

    I love how the police report turns ‘That employee assaulted that woman’ into ‘I feel she shouldn’t be able to do that’, and ‘the woman who assaulted the employee’. State-sponsored corporate thuggery FTW.

    • knoxblox says:

      I also love the Target stance.

      Paraphrased, of course:

      “What is your policy?”
      “We have a policy.”

    • Kitten Mittens says:

      Because I’m sure her language didn’t chance from the moment at Target and when she got home, composed herself, edited her email and then shipped it off to Consumerist…

      It clearly is government thuggery first. Now you’ve made me feel dirty for defending the police…bleh.

    • pawnblue says:

      This only happened because Target knows that if you tip the police, you get better service. All you low tip arguers beware!!!

  6. Talisker says:

    Detaining shoplifters and trespassers can be a lot uglier than some people want to see. Cherie doesn’t know whether or not this particular customer is known to store security from previous incidents and doesn’t know the history or reason that the person was detained.

    • CherieBerry says:

      Even if she had stolen from the store before, security does not have the right to choke a suspect.

    • Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

      I’m sure detaining an unwilling shoplifter shouldn’t involve choking. Yes, pretty sure that’s over the line.

    • full.tang.halo says:

      If I saw a person, in plane clothes, wrestle & choke a female customer coming out of a Target I’d think I was witness to a an assault and battery. This isn’t just pushing or grabbing someone, choking another person is way way way over the line.

      A. This LP opened Target to massive civil liability, 100′s of times more than anything this person could have shoplifted.

      B. You mess up and try to detain a person who is 100% innocent, and they’re gonna think that are being attacked. That leads down a very dark and messy road.

      • mandy_Reeves says:

        If I saw a plain clothes person attack another shopper…I’d grab some pop corn and watch the action…jk…I’d call the cops for sure…but I wouldn’t be all up in the manager’s face…

  7. Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

    I will assume for the moment that this testimony provide above is true. Please don’t respond with argument about how we don’t know, as I understand it’s contigent upon this testimony being accurate.

    This, as well as similar incidents, show me that police officers have no desire to perform their duties when inconvenient. It also shows me that the best course of action in this case seems to be to fight the “losss prevention” employee to the bitter end, because the police clearly aren’t going to care. Also, somehow a company’s testimony to police is more accurate than common citizens’ when they conflict. It’s assume here Target was accurate and not witnesses.

    The police took the statements (but only some of them) and left. No other action was taken.

    • GuyGuidoEyesSteveDaveâ„¢ says:

      I know my Target has a camera on the front doors, so there should be video of this….

    • DH405 says:

      Most police (Not all), generally, don’t care about doing their job at any point.

      My friend’s car was stolen and posted on Craigslist for sale with no title. He called the cops, they said they couldn’t do anything.

      I used some google fu and located the suspect’s name, address, phone number, and other vehicles he was selling. The police went to the address and got the car. They wouldn’t arrest the guy who stole it.

      The suspect told the police that he was with his brother at the time it was stolen and that he bought it from “some guy.” His brother, who has a prior for GTA, was never interviewed to confirm. He also said that he had made some improvements to the car that he wanted to recover, so the police let the thief onto the impound lot to take the stereo, rims, and other accessories that he thought he could sell.

      No arrest, and no sign of caring at all.

      • GuyGuidoEyesSteveDaveâ„¢ says:

        You do know that you have powers that the police do not, and if they try to do some of the same stuff you did, it could very well get the case thrown out, right? The police would have to prove that they didn’t violate the suspects rights or any laws to get the information you did. The fact they acted on a tip from you allows them to get the same warrant/subpoena that they wouldn’t have been able to get before. Saying “this car looks an awful lot like mine” on the computer might not be sufficient to the DA to present to the judge for a warrant. Can’t speak for the rest, but congrats to you for helping your friend.

  8. goodfellow_puck says:

    So…according to Cherie, DID the shopper “flee”?

    • CherieBerry says:

      She “fled” after arguing with the manager for about 10 minutes.

      • Verucalise (Est.February2008) says:

        Well, then… I wouldn’t catergorize that as “fleeing”… more like, stomping away in a pissed of rage of anger. But, I guess according to your story that I would give this woman the benefit of the doubt. If she argued with the employees for 10 minutes and they stopped restraining her, then she must of not been that huge of a threat as first believed. She might of left to go to the police department herself and I sure hope so.

    • Slipgrid_ says:

      The police say, “broke away from the female loss prevention officer and fled the store,” but that is clearly not true. Look at the picture where the accused is yelling at the manager and LP.

      The LP stopped trying to stop the accused when the manager arrived. Then the accused stayed around for about ten minutes. That’s hardly “broke away… and fled the store.”

  9. SecretAgentWoman says:

    That’s disgusting and I hope the woman who was accosted gets in touch with this lady and a lawyer!

  10. AstroPig7 says:

    How is the police report so dramatically different from the eye-witness account? Fled the store? Escaped in a van? If someone attempted to restrain me without identifying themselves, I would attack them without any questions. I freak out when people touch me anyway (I have moderate OCD and physical contact with strangers feels incredibly uncomfortable), and an act like this would feel like assault. This should not be appropriate loss-prevention procedure.

    • The hand that feeds, now with more bacon says:

      I feel the same way. I don’t like to be touched by anyone unless I know them very well. If some stranger accosted me and grabbed me I’d go crazy.

      • LaurelHS says:

        Yeah, me too. I was getting off a bus once and some random guy thought I was moving too slowly so he grabbed me by the arms to move me out of his way, and I freaked out and yelled at him. Maybe I overreacted, but I really don’t like strangers touching me!

    • FredKlein says:

      How is the police report so dramatically different from the eye-witness account?

      It’s called “Cops Lie”.

      They lie to get out of doing work. They lie to get out of trouble. They lie to get you to confess (where or not you’re guilty is irrelevant).

      Seriously, Google around a little. Check out youtube (try searching for ‘police abuse’ or similar), look at the examples in this very thread. Check out Fark.com threads regarding cops, and you’ll see dozens more examples.

      Notice how the report is phrased- “While officers were enroute to the store, the suspect broke away from the female loss prevention officer and fled the store. The suspect then got into a van, fled the lot and was not located.” They technically told the truth, just phrased it so there is no mention of the actual timing. The lady did ‘break away’ from the LP, and did ‘get into a van’ and left the lot. They just omitted the fact that there was 10 minutes between those two acts.

  11. CherieBerry says:

    I am the Cherie who submitted this story. The LP offer was not 100lbs or 5 ft tall. Also, I have written to Target and have not received a single reply. Thank you for posting this incident.

    • Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

      Did you happen to grab the victim’s phone number? I bet she’d appreciate knowing a witness would testify for her.

      • CherieBerry says:

        I asked her to stay but her husband/boyfriend was yelling at her for most of the time so she left after speaking to the manager. The photo above is right before she left. They did not try to stop her.

        • Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

          Not to put you on the spot here, but:

          You say the woman did not identify himself as a Target employee. How are you certain of that? Were you within a close proximity when the incident originally began?

          And was there any indication that this was indeed a shoplifter? Did she eventually take the items in the shopping cart? Did she provide a receipt?

          • CherieBerry says:

            I was about three feet away from the women when the fight began. She never said anything like, “Stop. I’m with Target Asset Protection.” Seriously, they just started to go at it without much verbage.

            • Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

              And the merchandise? What was its ultimate destiny?

              • CherieBerry says:

                The merchandise remained inside the building, still in the red shopping basket, on the floor near a trashcan between the snack bar and the interior exit doors, which was about one foot from the electronic tag sensor gates.

                • Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

                  Then, to Target’s benefit, I’d say she was a shoplifter. If I had purchased those goods, I wouldn’t let them stay as I left. I doubt many people would let it go if they had indeed purchased the goods.

                  Still, that doesn’t excuse an attack by an employee, in particular one that endangers your life.

                  • Verucalise (Est.February2008) says:

                    I’ve walked my unpurchased goods up to the front of the stores, past the cash registers and left the cart there to run out to my car really quick if I forgot something, or to use the bathroom, ETC…. Just because the carts up front doesn’t mean she was stealing. She could of moved it there, went to go outside to speak to her partner and been assumed to be shoplifting.

                    • Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

                      I asked the ultimate destiny of the goods, not the interim. The girl “fled” without her “purchase” merchandise. Pretty good indicator of a thief.

                    • MaxH42 thinks RecordStoreToughGuy got a raw deal says:

                      Yeah, because if she was still browsing when she was attacked and hadn’t yet paid as Verucalise suggested, I’m sure that she’d still be REAL keen to give that Target her business after being assaulted by their employee.

                    • HogwartsProfessor says:

                      Or maybe she just wanted to get the hell out of there.

                    • GuyGuidoEyesSteveDaveâ„¢ says:

                      But this wasn’t a cart. It was a hand basket. And in the other hand, according to Cherie, she had a “cane”(which looks a lot like a strap on purse, has a buckle on it, and 6″ too short to be a usable cane, but Cherie, who was there, says it is.) and the huge purse/bag/tote seen here in the expanded photo: http://i.imgur.com/auyvF.jpg

                      I would think you would put the hand basket up on an empty register(she had a limp according to Cherie, so leaning over with the bag and cane would be difficult.) and ask someone to watch it as oppose to walking past the food court then bending down to place it on the ground, right?

                  • jaya9581 says:

                    I don’t think the issue here is whether or not the woman was shoplifting. I don’t think that really matters. The issue is, was Target LP’s treatment of the woman in line or was it assault. If it happened as described, I say it was assault.

        • Trollez says:

          You trying to be the good citizens and the fact this other lady split makes me believe there is more to the story between the lady and Target. Such as a previous arrest for stolen goods and she was banned from the store, regardless that she did not have anything on her when she walked out the door. Now does that justify the actions of the guard and the person, no. But if that lady was just going to split (maybe possible warrant outstanding on her) makes me believe although you were trying to do the right thing, sticking around for the police was not on her agenda and she isn’t willing to come forward about her story.

    • Jbjohn942 says:

      By the looks of the photo, the person in black clothes fits the 100lb 5′ description. Either that or the manager is a giant. Did the suspect flee like the police report states?

      • CherieBerry says:

        He was very tall. About the same height as my partner, who is 6’3″. I am 140lbs and the LP gal was larger than me.

      • drbtx1 says:

        I would say she weighs more like 125 or 130. And if she is so petite and delicate, perhaps she shouldn’t be working in LP.

        • dadelus says:

          When I was working LP one of my female co-workers was 5′, probably just barely over 100lbs soaking wet and cute as a button.

          I saw her drop 6′ 200+lb shoplifter all by herself. He made the mistake of thinking she would be the easiest person to get past when we went to stop him. She wristlocked him when he tried to push her out of the way. Then spun his arm behind his back before he realized what was happening.

    • GuyGuidoEyesSteveDaveâ„¢ says:

      Cherie, just so you know, in most states, shoplifting is about intent. You DO NOT have to exit the store to be guilty of shoplifting. Many stores/companies would like you to leave the store, to “seal the deal”, as it were, but they can do it before you even hit the exit. See the video I recorded here to see one case: http://consumerist.com/2009/12/heres-a-walmart-perp-walk-in-action.html

      • FredKlein says:

        Cherie, just so you know, in most states, shoplifting is about intent. You DO NOT have to exit the store to be guilty of shoplifting.

        Bull- they can’t read your mind to determine your intent. (Unless you know something more about the LP technology field than I do.) So, the only thing they can do is wait until you take an action, such as leaving. (Passing the last register might be enough.) Yes, there have been a FEW cases where they got someone still in the store for concealing the merchandise on them, but again, that’s not just “intent”, but an action that was taken.

        Heck, there have been times where I head into a store, grab a few thing and think ‘shoot, I forgot to get a cart’, so I head back to the entrance to get one. Here I am, with an armful of unpaid merchandise, heading toward the entrance/exit without going near the registers. I’ve never had it happen, but if someone started choking me because I was going back to get a cart, I’m pretty sure I’d flip out and beat the sh!t out of them. Then, depending what else happened, I might very well consider a lawsuit.

        • GuyGuidoEyesSteveDaveâ„¢ says:

          Bull? OK,

          State of Connecticut Jury Charge/Instructions:
          http://www.jud.ct.gov/ji/criminal/part9/9.1-17.htm

          State of NJ Jury Charge/Instructions:
          http://www.judiciary.state.nj.us/civil/charges/3.20F.pdf

          West Virginia statue:
          http://law.justia.com/westvirginia/codes/61/wvc61-3a-1.html

          State of Massachusetts Jury Instructions:
          http://www.mass.gov/courts/courtsandjudges/courts/districtcourt/jury-instructions/criminal/pdf/8620-shoplifting.pdf

          Etc… Note the word intent, or intentionally, or the specific section(s) which cover/define intent. Shoplifting is all about intent. If you can prove you didn’t have the intention to steal, defraud, etc… you wouldn’t be guilty, which covers the “oops, I forgot” scenarios. That’s why if you get accused, you should ask for the police. If you set off the LP officers “spidey-sense”, but you SERIOUSLY didn’t steal something, there’s a chance that the cop who comes will be able to judge if you did or didn’t.

          I’m in/by no means a LP officer, but while working at a supermarket, caught more than a couple shoplifters. When you deal with thousands of people in a retail environment, you sometimes can just pick up when something isn’t right. While walking to the deli to eat on break once, I was walking down the greeting card aisle and as I did, saw this girl who was just looking at stuff on the shelf and had a backpack on. Not unusual, we were near a school. As I walked down the aisle, she turned and started walking the same way I was, but slower. As I passed her, something just didn’t feel right, and when I got to the end of the aisle, I turned right and a few seconds later, she hit the end and turned left. Rather than hitting the Deli, I circled back to the front desk to page the store manager/security that something was up. I told the front end manager what I wanted Jim for/described the girl, and she said she would tell him when he called(I only had 15 minutes break, and couldn’t actually DO anything, except alert someone. I had gotten to the front end, where the exit was as well, before she did, so I know she didn’t leave yet). I started back to the Deli, and was ordering my sub when I see the manager, the LP guy, and a female dept manager leading this girl upstairs to the offices. In the end, they had seen her on the camera stuffing things in her jacket, then she went into the warehouse, where the ladies room was. Since there was only one entrance to that at each end of the store, they went down and waited and sent the female manager into the ladies room to make sure no merch was inside, and she followed the girl out of the bathroom. When she exited the warehouse onto the store floor, the female manager let them know there was no merchandise inside the bathroom, and they asked her to take the stuff out of her jacket. She unzipped her jacket to “prove” she didn’t have anything. They asked to see her bag, and that’s when she said no, so they took her upstairs. She had gone into the bathroom to stuff all the merch in her bag and cover it with other stuff so if someone had asked for a look, they wouldn’t see anything. I had a roast beef sub w/bacon and horseradish dressing.

          • FredKlein says:

            The first link you give links to a definition of “intent”:

            “A person acts ‘intentionally’ with respect to a result when (his/her) conscious objective is to cause such result.”

            Now, unless you can READ THE PERSONS MIND, you do not know what their ‘conscious objective’ is/was. You can GUESS, based upon their ACTIONS, but you cannot know for sure.

            And that’s what I meant by “bull”. I wan’t denying that the law says ‘intent’ is sufficient, I was saying that pure intent is impossible to prove.

            They didn’t get her on intent- hey got her on concealment, which is an action she took.

            .

            Many(most?) stores have rules that say the LP or manager must keep their eyes on you *continuously*- if they lose sight for even a second, they cannot stop you. I’m therefore surprised there aren’t people who make a living by suing stores after being falsely accused of shoplifting. Act suspiciously so LP starts watching you, shove something into your pocket/purse, walk out of sight around the corner and ditch the item, then run for the door. If they lay a hand on you, sue. And win.

            On a somewhat related note: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_xNhL39uD7I

            • GuyGuidoEyesSteveDaveâ„¢ says:

              Is that you Alex Jones? I remember when that commercial first aired. Late 90′s, right? Nearly 20 years later and RFID is possibly making an start in clothes at Wal-mart now?

              As for your scenario, you will have to prove to/convince the judge/jury that you were just acting suspiciously and shoplifted the item(Just concealing IS shoplifting according to the law, even if you dump it later) just so you could profit from your crime. I’m sure a lot of juries will give you money if you tell them that. I also think staging an crime for profit is in itself a crime. But you have fun doing that.

          • unojack says:

            “If you can prove you didn’t have the intention to steal, defraud, etc… you wouldn’t be guilty”…
            so guilty until proven innocent now? news to me

    • Siendra says:

      If the LPO in your photo isn’t five foot nothing, that manager is a giant awaiting his big NBA break.

    • Richardsonke says:

      I live in Cincinnati too. If you don’t mind saying, which store was this? The one on Marburg Ave?

  12. sonneillon says:

    You don’t put your hands on another person without their consent. These people are not representing any municipal state or federal organization. They are just people at work. Eventually they will do this to someone with formal training having a bad day and that will show up in the consumerist with a different headline.

    • PupJet says:

      Actually, I work at a KMart and LP will indeed put their hands on you and possibly tackle your butt to the ground. Of course our store has 60+ cameras that can show you a buttcrack on a fly if they wanted (during orientation we were allowed back there to see such a feat, and let me tell you, high resolution cameras work wonders).

      I am not sure if Target has such nice cameras, but if they do, they can and WILL spot you! Regardless of what the flailing woman states, I seriously doubt that she was as helpless as is being made out.

      Seriously, look at the flip side of the coin as well before passing out critiques:

      1) What viewing areas can the store see?
      — Most likely all areas
      2) Was the person acting in a way that could possibly warrant this action?
      2a) Possible foul language to a worker (which could have called it in to LP)
      — Very Possible
      2b) Drugs/Alcohol usage
      — Very Possible
      3) Does said person have a potential for carrying a weapon?
      — Yes, the cane could actually be classified as a weapon.

      4) Does the suspected person have a ‘record’?
      — That’s unknown, even in the story.

      Now to the other side of the coinage:

      1) Could the suspect have a legitimate medical problem?
      — Again yes, due to the cane

      2) Was the intent to steal known?
      — Depends on the overall circumstance, but in this case it was made as ‘Yes’

      3) Was what the LP did within reasonable boundaries for the situation?
      — Chances are no. They should have first stated who they are and assessed the situation further.

      Even though the last question was “No”, that’s all that people are looking at. Yes, the LP failed to assess the situation further even AFTER failing to notify the person that they were an LP; however there is but the single variable.

      The only variable is that the lady could have been a repeat offender
      — in which the store would have had run-ins with her previously
      — in which the OP would have not have known.
      — in which would have lead to the LP to have taken said actions
      — in which of course makes this story, for the most part, one sided.

      HOWEVER, re-reading it, I have to wonder if the OP did talk with the police because apparently the LP was nice enough to make mention of her. I also wonder where GetEm got the non-blurred image.

  13. ellemdee says:

    It’s disturbing that no one even tried to stop the attack, they just stood around and watched it. Even if they were afraid of getting attacked themselves for interfering, more people should have at least said something. I mean, check out the picture, the employee looks about as intimidating as a 13 year old boy. People either don’t want to get involved to help a stranger of they just want to see two women fight.

    • CherieBerry says:

      The store front was surprisingly empty. It was my party and my three other shoppers and maybe two associates watching the mele.

    • Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

      To be fair, If I didn’t see the altercation begin, and just saw it mid-way, I might be inclined not to get involved. Especially if the employee isn’t marked as an employee (which seems to be the case here; black instead of classic red shirt khaki pants). It could easily have been two friends fighting.

      However, if I see choking, as is the case here, or something else that could cause real harm, I would definitely get involved and am with you in the surprise that people do not help someone who could be killed.

    • thompson says:

      You’d be exposing yourself to some pretty serious tort liability when intervening. “Doing the right thing” is good and all, but it looks a lot worse when YOU get hit with the $100k personal injury suit.

    • kajillion123 says:

      You wouldn’t do shit either, internet tough guy.

      • ellemdee says:

        Not a guy (and admittedly not tough), but I just read this thinking how horrible I would feel if someone attacked me and no one helped. That said, I know these things can go down so fast that people nearby are often too stunned to respond and it’s over before anyone really realizes what’s really going on. I’m used to seeing a lot of people (shoppers and employees) at the front of a Target store and I pictured a decent crown standing around but, as the OP mentions below, there were only a few people. The OP did the right thing in reporting what she saw instead of just walking away.

    • howie_in_az says:

      Do you realize what kind of legal shitstorm one could get themselves into by pulling a security guard off of a person?

  14. Trollez says:

    I have to believe being in the doorway this has to be on the 100 cameras that Target has throughout the store. Especially the door.

  15. skapig says:

    I like how Target didn’t actually answer the question about what its policy is.

  16. Gramin says:

    I’m somewhat tempted to side with Target because the “victim” fled/left the scene. You can be damn sure that if a Target employee attempts to physically restrain me while I’ve done nothing wrong, I’ll wait for the cops to get there.

    • Slipgrid_ says:

      If you look at the picture, the accused was not fleeing. She was giving the others a piece of her mind.

      According to the story, she left when her significant other convinced her to leave.

  17. EllenRose says:

    One thing I have found, from several interactions with the Minneapolis police, is that police really, really don’t want to take statements from witnesses. I think the thought of paperwork bothers them.

  18. ellemdee says:

    “A rep for Target said that if you see a loss prevention associate using excessive force, you should go to the Guest Service desk and ask to speak to the manager”

    WTH? How do these stores think they exist in an alternate reality where they aren’t subject to the same laws that govern the world outside their doors? If someone is assaulted, it should be reported to the police, not management. Excessive force/assault isn’t a matter for Target to handle internally, it’s criminal.

    The customer should absolutely press assault charges, if they have not already done so.

  19. SlyPhox says:

    In situations like this where a plain clothes person begins to attack or attempt to detain someone I can only wonder how long it will be until this happens to someone carrying a concealed weapon and they shoot said person because they felt as though their safety was in danger. What then?

    • GuyGuidoEyesSteveDaveâ„¢ says:

      They will get tried in a court of law. And they will have to show that they had justifiable reason to pull the weapon and use it. They will also have to prove they had NO other option than to take the life of the other person. However, any good attorney can explain to the jury that when a door alarm goes off as you get close/go through it, and someone asks you to stop, or you feel a hand on your shoulder, that a “reasonable person” would not take that situation as one where deadly force should be used/expected to be used. There is a big difference between this happening at the exit to a store, and in a dark alley in the middle of the night.

  20. Bernardo says:

    I believe if someone were to skrike the guard to stop this from happening it would have been legally ok as the guard was using excessive and illagl force that might take the life of the shopper. I’f im shopping and watch this happening Id try and talk to the guards to make them stop, call the policee then try to pry them off. If the person looks like they are in serious pain or might actully die I think id have to knock the guard out myself. I mean what if someone dies because of this? yes I know people can sure, but this is seriously dangerous. I see this as being no different that watching someone being mugged on the street.

  21. dolemite says:

    I’m curious about the line: “Cherie attempted to take photos with her phone, but was spotted by the loss prevention associate, who she says told her to stop and not to get involved.” I am not sure a target employee has a right to tell me what to do with my phone.

    • AustinTXProgrammer says:

      You would be right, but they can certainly tell you to leave and never come back…

    • CherieBerry says:

      In the photo above, she is yelling at me to stop taking photos.

    • chefguru says:

      They don’t have the right to tell you what to do with your own phone…

      HOWEVER… you’re overlooking a legal issue here. You have the right to photograph anyone, and anything you like while you’re in public, in a location with no expectation of privacy.

      If it was inside the store, the store has the right, since it’s their property, to not allow photography. If the person taking the picture was on the street, they can’t legally stop them, but if the person was still inside the entryway, then Target CAN say that you’re not allowed to take photographs… legally.

      • Dave on bass says:

        Target may itself be private property, but it is accessible to the public, which makes it a public place as photography laws are concerned. They can exercise their right to refuse service and ask you to leave the store, but snap some shots all the way out if you like. =0)

    • varro says:

      That’s also spoilation of evidence if there’s a civil suit.

  22. Dapper Dan says:

    Finally Cincinnati is getting recognized….oh wait

  23. Southern says:

    A rep for Target said that if you see a loss prevention associate using excessive force

    A loss prevention associate shouldn’t be using ANY force (well, unless they were attacked first, of course). Considering the woman hadn’t stolen anything, since the security guard (supposedly) started attacking the woman INSIDE the anti-theft gates, there was no reason for him to do what he did.

    I bet it’s all on the Target security tapes, though..

    • Hoss says:

      Where did you come to the conclusion that the person was not a thief?

      • kayl says:

        Depending on the state statue, theft can be as simple as a subject concealing an object while in the store. In many states, as soon as you conceal, you’re technically stealing.

        • FredKlein says:

          There are plenty of items that are small enough to hold in the palm of my hand. Am I guilty of shoplifting if I make a fist, thereby ‘concealing’ the item?

          How about if I place the item in a cart/basket, then place another item on top of it so that the first item cannot be seen?

          Or, in winter, if I take off my heavy winter coat and place it in a cart, then toss items into the cart, and one item ends up under my coat?

          All these technically meet the definition of ‘concealment’. but I doubt any of them would get a conviction.

    • kayl says:

      As far as using force, in most states LP employees can use a reasonable amount of force when detaining a theft suspect. Check your state laws :)

  24. CalicoGal says:

    Isn’t a person allowed to take pictures outdoors in a public place?

    Of course the LP person *could* ask Cherie not to take pics but if the subjects are viewable from the parking lot, Cherie could take all the pictures she wants.

    • NightSteel says:

      And then the manager bans her from the store too.

      • Mecharine says:

        Being banned from Target , I think, is a good thing for any self-respecting person.

        • OutPastPluto says:

          If some jerk at a store or restaurant kicks you out for some bogus reason, that’s really a good hint that you shouldn’t have bothered with that establishment to begin with. I got thrown out of an IHOP once for merely raising my voice loud enough to be heard over the jibber-jabber in the lobby.

          It was about 10 years before I went back to an IHOP of any sort.

    • Gramin says:

      Yes, but technically, Target owns their parking lots. Therefore, they are not public spaces.

      • CalicoGal says:

        It is my understanding that even though it is privately owned property, it is considered a public place, as the property serves the general public.

        Photography is legal and allowed if a person does not have the reasonable expectation of privacy.

        From the American Society of Media Photographers,
        http://asmp.org/tutorials/frequently-asked-questions-about-privacy-and-libel.html#privacy

        “Q: When does the right of privacy protect someone from having his picture taken?

        A: When a person has taken steps that would give rise to a reasonable expectation of privacy. If you go into a room with closed doors and window shades pulled down, you would probably have a reasonable expectation of privacy, and someone putting a fiber-optic lens under the door and taking your picture would probably be liable for invading your privacy. If you are sitting at a window table in a restaurant, you are probably fair game.

        Q: If I stand outside a store and take a picture for publication of someone inside, either through the door or store window, is that a violation of some sort?

        A: Probably not. Standing in a store with glass windows and doors is not a situation that would give a reasonable expectation of privacy.”

    • Slipgrid_ says:

      I was there. The LP person said not to take the picture. Cher took it anyway. The when the police arrived, the LP asked the police to make Cher delete the picture. The police officer said he couldn’t do that.

    • varro says:

      No pictures = no lawsuit….

  25. CherieBerry says:

    The merchandise remained inside the building, still in the red shopping basket, on the floor near a trashcan between the snack bar and the interior exit doors, which was about one foot from the electronic tag sensor gates.

    • myCatCracksMeUp says:

      Cheri – thanks for sending this story to Consumerist and taking the time to answer questions from commenters.

  26. SharkD says:

    I particularly like the part where the Police Department stops policing at 8pm. And since 7:30pm is practically 8pm, they chose not to investigate the matter at such a “late hour.”

  27. Avrus says:

    I look forward to the near future where one of these tough guy security people accost the wrong person and end up choked out on the ground.

  28. SpendorTheCheap says:

    I side with the thief, who fled in a van before the police arrive.

    I also believe Cherie instead of the second witness who talked to cops and said that Target didn’t do anything wrong because that second witness didn’t write anything at consumerist.

    I really just think Cherie and the fleeing thief are in cahoots to split a lawsuit.

  29. oldwiz65 says:

    Corporate thuggery is becoming widely accepted in the U.S. Corporations and the police believe it is vital to stop shoplifters. Since the corporations can slip enough cash to the police and attorneys they know they can get away with whatever they d*** well please. They are working on being allowed to use deadly force to stop someone from leaving with a $1.00 piece of candy. Been to Forever21 recently? They love to throw shoplifters to the ground and choke them too.

    Always wonder what would happen if they ran into someone with a black belt who had done nothing to deserve being attacked.

    • newfenoix says:

      Many of these places have the little “no concealed weapons allowed” signs posted. I will not shop in a place like that because NOBODY except a police officer will ever lay a hand on me like that. I used to be a cop and my department had constant problems with stores and their accusations of shop lifting. The state of Texas is considering a law that mandates that ALL lose prevention personnel most go through a state required licensing course and that they must wear uniforms. Enough is enough with this bullshit and some states are taking action to prevent this from happening.

      • varro says:

        Oregon mandates that all security guards pass a licensing test and be licensed by the same bureau that manages police officers.

        Of course, the former head of the licensing board resigned after definite sexual harassment and alleged sexual assault while in San Diego…

  30. MichaelRyanSD says:

    Alright So I’m going to chime in here since I have first hand knowledge of what these situations are like because I worked at Target as a loss prevention specialist.

    Now Target takes apprehending shoplifters very seriously and we had all sorts of protocol to follow before we could arrest someone. Simply said, if we ever detained someone who wasn’t shoplifting we lost our jobs.

    So I am going to assume this person was shoplifting and say in short…tough crap. Yeah we arrested people, yeah we wrestled them to the ground. They are criminal shoplifters, many of whom carried knives. You think I am going to ask them nicely if they would wait they for me…hell no, basically what we did was wait till they were just about the exit the door, identify ourselves briefly as undercover store associates and we needed to speak with them. If they cooperated, we arrested them calm and professionally, if not, then we took them to the ground.

    Likewise, get over “not identified as a target employee” crap…its called UNDERCOVER for a reason…

    On the other hand, if this undercover arrested this women who was innocent (mistakes happen) then he’s fired and Target is screwed…

    • Bunkka says:

      “Likewise, get over “not identified as a target employee” crap…its called UNDERCOVER for a reason…”

      Seriously? Is there still a need for ‘undercover’ when you have, as you said, made sure they are in fact shoplifting? Regardless of the situation, if you expect a person to comply with your demands when you are in an authoritative position, imagined or not, you need to announce yourself.

      There is a reason why police are supposed to announce themselves when they are in plain clothes or it is not obvious who they are when they are looking to make an arrest.

      That aside, I was under the impression that physical restraint was pretty taboo for most retail stores. I can say pretty confidently that there is no protocol at Target about the effective use of a choke hold.

    • PSUSkier says:

      Get over yourself. It’s a position in a retail store. You had no power whether you believed it or not, and people have every right to tell you to GFY. If I was really a dick it seems like it would be quite easy for me to bait one of the asshats into trying to take me down and making some quick cash by filing a court case, because I’m sure they’d settle in a heartbeat.

    • myCatCracksMeUp says:

      It’s fine to be UNDERCOVER until you’re ready to apprehend a suspected shoplifter. Once you decide to apprehend/stop them, you HAVE to say who you are. Otherwise you’re just a person attacking another person and you deserve to have your ass kicked. Trust me, I would kick your ass. Been there and done that, and will do it again if needed.

      And even after identifying yourself as a Target employee you have to right to attack a suspected shoplifter. If you attact me I will kick your ass, as you deserve.

    • newfenoix says:

      I arrested two LP specialist during my time as a cop. On one occasion it was for assault, the other was for 3rd degree battery. Both were found guilty and had to pay fines. I don’t give a damn what your company allows you to do, the LAW does not allow a lose prevention person to put their hands on an individual. And it is also against company policy with most retailers, however, some store managers have “God complexes” that make them think that they can do anything that they want.

  31. homehome says:

    I would need to know facts because the stories are so different who’s to say who’s telling most of the truth or not. I find it hard to believe a person would just flip out and attack a customer without any reason. So therefore, I’m not siding without any side because it would be biased to either party.

  32. bravohotel01 says:

    >”Eventually, their fight spilled through the exterior doors and continued onto the sidewalk.”
    >Cherie attempted to take photos with her phone, but was spotted by the loss prevention associate, who she says told her to stop and not to get involved. The above image is the only one she was able to snap.

    The LPA and/or manager can tell her to stop all day and it doesn’t mean squat. The only thing they can do is call the cops and have her removed from Target’s premises (if she then refuses, she can be arrested for trespassing), If she’s filming from a public sidewalk, then the Target emps are SOL.

    Stand up for your rights, unless you don’t want ‘em.
    Photography is not a crime: http://www.google.com/search?q=photography+is+not+a+crime

    • ooeygooey says:

      Along that line, I would say to keep filming even inside the store. They can ask you to stop but all they can do is ask you to leave if you don’t. I would recommend getting both requests on film, then stop filming, and keep watching. Once outside the store, start filming again. It’s not really about who is right and wrong, it’s a situation where violence is being done and should be filmed if you have the ability and inclination. I mean, choking? In no way does that get a pass from me, for any reason.

  33. vaguely says:

    When I worked there, I saw an AP guy clothesline a kid. It was fantastic to watch, but also mildly disconcerting. Then, of course, if you walk into a store and stuff your backpack full of expensive electronics, and then try to outrun a pretty big guy, you asked for it.

  34. Pavlov's Dog says:

    I have a reflex action when someone grabs and chokes me. It’s called gouge the eyes. Based on the fact that the loss prevention associate did not identify herself as such until the battery began it would probably be legally considered self defense.

  35. Ibecowtippin says:

    Just playing devils advocate, but was the OP around this shopper the entire time? Could it be that the shopper was passing off funny money or pulling off an identity theft? Not everyone has to be detained for shopplifing as there are other ways to steal in a store. Not saying the person is guilty, but the store, I would think, had reason beyond a doubt to detain the person.

    • Bunkka says:

      Doesn’t matter if the ‘suspect’ was dragging a 50″ tv out the front door with wires trailing…

      The point of the article is the ridiculous excessive force.

    • Slipgrid_ says:

      >Not saying the person is guilty, but the store, I would think, had reason beyond a doubt to detain the person.

      If you look at the picture, you will see that when the manager arrived, the LP stopped trying to detain the accused.

    • PSUSkier says:

      It’s unlikely that would be the case. I have the feeling if she was trying to pass off some fake bills the cops would’ve been slightly more interested.

  36. Slipgrid_ says:

    I was at this target last night with Cher. It happened as she reported.

    I had just finished paying for my goods, and my brother was still paying for his. At that time, I walked up from the back rows of registers to the front rows, and I was looking at the items they sell at the registers (batteries, candy, mags, etc).

    While I stood up there, I heard the start of the scuffle. The woman in black was holding the accused woman buy the neck, and the accused woman said, “let go of me” or “let me go.” I said, “hey, you can’t be doing that.” Then, the accused woman pushed the LP away, but the LP kept coming back and attacking her again.

    Some notes here:
    * The accused woman was inside the store, infront of the concessions/fastfood place.
    * There was no alarm.
    * The basket of stuff was on the ground.
    * I can’t imagine that the accused was concealing anything. Everything was in the basket, and she didn’t have much clothing on.
    * The first voice we heard was her saying, “let go of me.”
    * I did not recognize the LP as a target employee at first.

    The accused could have tossed the LP if she wanted to, but she didn’t. She just kept trying to push the LP off of her. The LP called for someone to get the manager, and that’s when I realized what she was.

    When the LP saw the manager walking out, she stopped trying to restrain the accused. Before the manager showed up, there was lots of pushing and trying to choke the accused.

    The accused did not flee; she started to threaten to sue, and demanded names. She was angry, and this seemed justified.

    When we walked out, we saw a man in a van asking the accused to get in, and the accused did not want to. She wanted to stay and press charges against the store. But, she finally got into the car. But, she was infront of the store for about ten minutes.

    I then walked to the car with the kid, and Cher stayed and waited to tell her story to the police.

    My personal take on it was that the accused forgot her wallet. So, she walked to the front of the store, set down the merchandise, and was walking out to the car to get it. She did not leave the store with merchandise. I don’t believe it’s reasonable to suspect that she could have concealed any merchandise. The LP wasn’t accusing her of having any merchandise.

    I did hear Cher ask the LP for her name a few times before I went to the car to wait with the kid, and the LP would not give it to her.

    The LP did not have anything to identify her as an employee of Target. She did not ever attempt to identify her as an employ of Target.

    If the LP was in the right, why didn’t she try to restrain the lady after the manager showed up?

    If the LP wanted to avoid criticism, she should have waited for a crime to be committed. That is, she should have seen something concealed, which she didn’t because she didn’t ask for the concealed merchandise back when the manager was there and I was around. And, nothing left the store.

    The only crime seems to be assault and attempted kidnapping by Target.

    One police officer and one deputy sheriff arrived about ten minutes after the accused left the store. Then about two minutes later we saw the police helicopter going overhead and down the street. The helicopter, which is new to the sheriffs department (first spotted about two or three weeks ago), is sort of a running joke to the locals. That is, even if the accused was trying to steal something, the gas in the copter and the pilots time is worth more. The helicopter just shows the continued militarization of the police. But, I digress.

    • ellemdee says:

      Sometimes I grab a handbasket and end up finding more stuff to buy than I planned, so I go back to the front of the store with the basket and grab a cart instead. Perhaps the LP person saw the customer walking near the carts @ the front of the store and though she was trying to walk out with the basket? I know sometimes when the store isn’t very busy, the stack of carts can be quite long and ends near the alarm pillars by where this happened. That might explain why someone would be near the door with unpaid merchandise and still not be doing anything wrong.

      • ITDEFX says:

        I’ve been in that situation too, where I go in with a hand basket and then find a boatload of clearance items so I go back to the front of the store to get a bigger cart and I’ve seen the guy in uniform staring at me as I reach for a bigger cart…. So I want a bigger cart to buy more stuff..is that a crime?

  37. Puddy Tat says:

    This is way over the line….!

  38. jaredwilliams says:

    Loss prevention officers don’t wear Store clothing…That would kind of defeat the purpose of being undercover on the floor trying to prevent shoplifting…Target has security guards however, which seem to think they are police and wear police style clothing with badges and Target emblems.

  39. sopmodm14 says:

    i think all protocol is to be identified when making an apprehension or confrontation

    even undercover/plain clothes police typically reveal badge before going into action

  40. ITDEFX says:

    wait a min…where are the security footage of this incident? Camera’s don’t lie. They will show who struck first. I believe there are multiple operators in the LP office watching the store via the cameras. I’m assuming that when the LP guy arrived, he already told his team to have the cameras recording the event so that it can be used as evidence in court.

    If the tapes show exactly what the witness was reporting of the choking and extreme force on a guest, then it’s a major lawsuit for the victim, which no doubt will be settled out of court. The employee is most like going to be suspended until the investigation is complete , but can kiss his job good bye because it’s too much of a liability.

    • CherieBerry says:

      The LP person is the female in black clothing. No men where involved in the issue.

    • oldwiz65 says:

      Except that if it appears that the store person was at fault the security tapes will conveniently disappear. The store is only going to keep the tapes if it shows the alleged thief was actually trying to steal something.

  41. Sheogorath says:

    Too many conflicting stories. Not enough information. The photo with the article looks like a few people standing outside the doors of a Target store.

    Also, that manager fellow must be a master of remaining calm in stressful situations. He’s got at least one hand in a pocket.

    Regardless, seems like a case of insufficient evidence to me. Cops do lie and all that, but sometimes they don’t.

    If the lady who was allegedly assaulted feels strongly enough about it, she can make her case in a lawsuit. She’ll probably win nicely, too, since nobody likes the big evil coroprations.

  42. Chuck Deuce says:

    Rent a douche lays a hand on my wife, there’s a Louisville Slugger with teethmarks in the sweet spot when I’m done. I see this kinda stuff and it really pisses me off. Where’s the store video?

    As for the know it alls here that think intent means the ability to deliver a beatdown in the store–uh, stores dont want to be sued for probabilities. They will lose, especially since most rent-a-tards can’t pass the local Police Academy psych exam, let alone police their own dirty a**holes properly. Absolute theft occurs once the person leaves the store, and the cops can’t do anything about it until the person has actually committed a crime. So, to hell with intent, the intent can’t be proven until the perp hits the parking lot.

  43. Siendra says:

    So, we have:

    A lack of photos
    One photo that shows no obvious signs that any physical altercation occurred
    A statement from the responding police that disagrees greatly with Cherie’s account
    A statement presumably from another witness that disagrees with Cherie’s account

    Me thinks Cherie is an attention whore.

  44. PupJet says:

    Who or what is to say that the woman that was being ‘restrained’ wasn’t suspected from the get go (such as previous shoplifting reports, etc…)

    It is very possible.

  45. ITDEFX says:

    from the picture, it looks like the red shirt guy somewhat looks like that douchebag Steve-o from Jackass and the LP person looks like a prick with a stick up her ass.

  46. Mr. TheShack says:

    5’0″ and 100 LBS? Haha, no way. My GF is 4’10″ and 100 lbs and is way skinnier than that woman (at a shorter height). Try like 5’0″ and 140 LBS

  47. Bkhuna says:

    “A rep for Target said that if you see a loss prevention associate using excessive force, you should go to the Guest Service desk and ask to speak to the manager”.
    Laws do not generally allow store workers to use ANY force to stop SUSPECTED shoplifters.
    I carry a concealed weapons permit and have on my person a collapsible baton. I’m pretty sure Mr. minimum-wage pimply-faced I’ve-got-a-Target-Ninja card would be singing a different tune today if he pulled that lame-assed “loss prevention” crap on the likes of me.
    If it went down like the OP stated, I’d sue Target and the loss prevention weasel.

  48. Bkhuna says:

    One other thing – I live in a state that allows one to use any force possible when feeling threatened. It’s up to the person being accosted to determine what is appropriate to save themselves from physical harm. You put your hands on someones throat, you are taking your own life into your hand.

    There have been no cases in our state where a victim was deemed criminally liable for protecting themselves using force; deadly or otherwise. Crime rates have fallen with the advent of concealed weapons permits and “Stand Your Ground” legislation.

  49. KevinReyn says:

    if you lived in hamilton county or near by as I do you understand why the police report looks the way it does vs the citizen account

  50. 8ball says:

    Let me suggest – Boycott Target.

  51. gargunkle says:

    Why do you redact the location in some places (like the Sam’s Club that called the cops to report an expired vehicle registration) and not others?

  52. cheezfri says:

    Call me crazy, but I am almost positive that no one but a law enforcement officer can restrain or detain you. One could make the case for a citizen’s arrest but that only applies when a felony is being committed and you have to apprehend the person to prevent serious harm.

  53. wobiii says:

    The story teller’s account seems really slanted to me. There must be more to the story.

  54. Ben_Q2 says:

    There is a loss prevention person going on 30 years with a broken neck. I was walking out the door and he jump on me. I took his head and push it into the ground. He never said anything to me, just did it. Turn out someone that had on the same items as me took something and a person just pointed me out. Mistaken ID, still cost him in the end.

    Then again to 30 years later I’m a major asshole to these people. I like to take the tags inside. Turn them on in the store and put them inside/under my cart. I do this when I buy a number of items and have time to kill.

  55. dilbert69 says:

    I think if you see someone choking someone, you should whip out your gun and tell them to stop, and if they don’t, shoot them.