It's Probation For Florida Man Who Punched Walmart Greeter

You might remember our story from January about a Walmart greeter in Florida who was fired after getting punched by a customer. Earlier this week, the man who threw the offending fist was given one year probation.

The probation sentence came after the customer pleaded no contest to battery charges.

From the Miami Herald:

Authorities say [the customer] was leaving the store after making a purchase in December 2009 when an alarm went off. A 69-year-old employee followed the 24-year-old outside, wrote down the license plate number on [his] car and went back inside the store. Security video shows [the customer] going back to the store, trying to take the greeter’s clipboard and punching him in the head.

The customer had previously claimed he acted in self-defense and that the greeter had used offensive language.

After being fired, the greeter expressed his confusion over what he’d done wrong.

“They told me I did a good job of defending myself,” he said about his former employers. “Then they turned around and fired me. I guess they just wanted me to stand there and get beaten.”

Man gets probation for fighting Walmart greeter [Miami Herald]

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  1. pecan 3.14159265 says:

    That is an awesome photo.

  2. Blueskylaw says:

    If the evidence shows the greeter acted in self-defense then I smell a wrongful termination lawsuit.

    • RickinStHelen says:

      Unless store policy is to not follow the customer outside,or write down the license plate number.

      • BStu78 says:

        Which it probably is. Also, if the greeter DID hurl a racial slur at his attacker, while not remotely justifying the beating would justify his dismissal.

    • Chaosium says:

      I sincerely doubt it. If the greeter stopped the customer, it was not in self-defence.

      • Difdi says:

        You have a screwed up idea of what self-defense is; I hope you never have cause to plead self-defense in court, because if you’re using your…unique…definition, you’ll be going to prison shortly after.

        The customer committed the crime of unarmed robbery against the greeter. Yes, the greeter attacked the customer first (leaning in like that == assault) but that was legitimate self-defense against an unarmed robber. When the customer punched the greeter, that was battery not self-defense (a criminal aggressor cannot claim self-defense if they are “required” to escalate the altercation when their victim proves capable of fighting back). Then the greeter punched the customer, which was also battery, but was legitimately self-defense (robber punches victim, victim punches back == self-defense).

        You are legally allowed, in most places, to use violence to resist a mugging. That the mugger only wanted a clipboard that was entrusted to the greeter by the store, rather than the greeter’s own personal property, is legally irrelevant. The fact is that the greeter got mugged and defended himself, the value of the stolen item only matters at sentencing.

      • Megalomania says:

        Based on the synopsis of events (customer leaves, greeter follows, writes down plate, goes back in) it doesn’t sound like the greeter had done anything remotely close to ‘stopping’ the customer, detaining him, or anything else of an illegal nature. He is certainly allowed to write down plate numbers all day long.

    • sonneillon says:

      Probably not. Unless he can prove discrimination he probably doesn’t have a case to stand on. And even if he did it requires hundreds of thousands of dollars to sue Walmart successfully. Millions if the case is big enough. He is better off going to the EEOC if he had a discrimination suit. Really though you can fire someone because you don’t like them, or they are too fat, or because you are firing everyone whos name ends in y. Very few states require just cause.

  3. dolemite says:

    Working directly with the general public, in a role under them, is the absolute worst job on earth. I’d rather shovel elephant dung in private than deal with the average walmart customer in a subservient capacity.

    • Doubts42 says:

      I would rather shovel the dung in public. at least there would be the modicum of respect inherent in keeping the streets clean. What service does a walmart greeter provide humanity?

    • pecan 3.14159265 says:

      If you and Doubts42 become zookeepers, you can shovel dung in public and in private.

    • antifox says:

      I agree, run the hose of portapotty

  4. stock2mal says:

    I hope he sues Wal-mart and gets a shitload of booty.

  5. areaman says:

    I was wondering if we’d get a Florida story today… then bam! A real zinger of a FL story.

  6. Red Cat Linux says:

    Actually, I’d sue the noogies out of Wally World for first encouraging (or creating a policy that encourages) elderly greeters/receipt checkers to go out and write down people’s tag numbers and putting them in a position to be confronted. And THEN firing them.

  7. ElizabethD says:

    Pic of Pom getting smacked by cat is awesome.

  8. dr_drift says:

    I’d expect certain Consumerist readers to do the same thing if a greeter asked to see their receipt.

    • Galium says:

      Which is the exact reason why I boycott anyplace that checks to see if I stole from them as a company policy. I am not a thief and I refused to be treated like one just for shopping at their store and giving them my money. Thank you for shopping at our store, you are dirt so up against the wall. signed the TSA for wall mart, sam’s, etc. Some stores even charge for the privilage of being treated as a crook with a yearly club fee. What is wrong with this picture?

  9. MarvinMar says:

    That photo is horrible! I’m calling PETA ASAP!!!!

    Just kidding, I don’t care. Hate cats and Pomeranians anyways.

  10. gman863 says:

    Too bad it didn’t happen in a major city near the Chinatown area. The security video would have made a good Kung Fu movie.

  11. Bagumpity says:

    It all hinges on two simple questions: Did the greeter see the shoplifter rollin’? And if so, was he hatin’?

  12. Galium says:

    The only illegal reason for firing someone is discrimination, that I know of. You can be fired for anything else, even for what you do at home on your own time. The only consequence for the firing entity is that, they may have to pay unemployment if the reason is not just cause. Is there any other illegal reasons that anyone knows?