Police: Walmart Worker Followed Suspected Shoplifter Out, Hit Him With Car

A month ago in Houston, a high school student briefly considered committing a crime. He grabbed some DVDs and headed for the door. He says that he changed his mind near the door and left almost-ill-gotten goods behind in the store. That didn’t stop a store employee from following him out of the store as he walked home, then intentionally hitting him with his car. The teen suffered back injuries, and the driver is longer employed at Walmart. He’s also in jail with a $30,000 bond, charged with aggravated assault.

The attempted shoplifter/victim says that the driver got out of the car and ordered him to never return to the store. Incidentally, around the time of the accident, store surveillance video caught the employee leaving the store, driving off in a red four-door vehicle, and then return about ten minutes later. That just happens to be the same kind of car that the victim claims hit him.

What made the employee go all Heisenberg on the kid’s ass over a few DVDs? We don’t know yet. It’s a definite overreaction.

Police: Walmart employee intentionally runs over customer [KPRC]

Comments

Edit Your Comment

  1. SirWired says:

    While the kid is a punk, this is one of the many reasons employers that have put any thought into it at all will fire your ass for going after a shoplifter. The $$$ it can cost for injuries to either the employee or suspect far exceed the amount of whatever they could possibly be stealing.

    • JJFIII says:

      So a kid who did NOT steal is considered a punk? You are either an idiot or racist.

      • Republicrat says:

        You’re an idiot for accusing somebody of racism without evidence.

        • kathygnome says:

          Can you offer another plausible explanation?

          • Misha says:

            How is a teenager who attempts to shoplift and chickens out at the last minute NOT a punk?

            For the record, I had no idea of the race of anyone involved until after I saw someone get accused of racism. I can see an ageism angle – above 25 or so and no one would be calling him a kid OR a punk, but I don’t see how calling an ill-behaving teenager of any race a “punk” would be racist.

            • Alex d'Indiana says:

              Yes, it’s so hard to know the race of a the victim when there’s a pic of him on this page. :P

              Not saying anyone here is racist, but maybe it’d be a good idea to keep the “No I’m not a racist even though I could see why someone would want to kill a black teen who might have shoplifted” explanations in the realm of the possible.

              • RandomLetters says:

                Did you read a different comment than I did? Misha was defending SirWired’s use of the label “punk” as not being racist. He never commented on the actual article itself.

                • Alex d'Indiana says:

                  I think we might have read different comments. The one I responded to said, “I had no idea of the race of anyone involved until after I saw someone get accused of racism.” He was saying that on an article with a prominent photo of the victim.

                  • RandomLetters says:

                    Which isn’t what I was commenting on. Wether he saw the picture or not you decided to put words into his mouth he never even came close to saying or even implying. How does, “I had no idea of the race of anyone involved until after I saw someone get accused of racism” become “No I’m not a racist even though I could see why someone would want to kill a black teen who might have shoplifted” in your mind?

                    • Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

                      I had no idea of the race of the victim either, until I opened my eyes.

              • Laura Northrup says:

                It wasn’t really relevant to the story so I didn’t include it in the writeup, but the perpetrator is also black.

                • Alex d'Indiana says:

                  Yeah, that’s in the video that was linked. But if looking at a photo in an article is too hard, clicking a link and watching a video is beyond the pale.

                  • Peggee has pearls and will clutch them when cashiers ask "YOU GOT A WIC CHECK MA'AM?" says:

                    Did you consider that many people use image blockers if they’re on a slow connection or a mobile device?

                  • dolemite says:

                    Well never mind Consumerist often using stock photos or substitutes for articles when pertinent photos aren’t available.

                • Republicrat says:

                  Thanks for mentioning this Laura. There are a lot of people who are so keen on finding racism in every nook and cranny in society that they’re willing to go on a witchhunt so as to be able to put their noses in the air and loudly proclaim moral righteousness.

                  Unfortunately egg in the face is not enough to humble many people and the same type who does this will continue to do this no matter what.

              • Bsamm09 says:

                That’s the victim? I thought it was the Wal-Mart worker.

                • Alex d'Indiana says:

                  Person A tries to kill Person B, and Person A is the victim?

                  Really?

                  • axhandler1 says:

                    BSamm was saying he thought the person in the picture was the WalMart worker, not the victim.

                    • Bsamm09 says:

                      Exactly. But just because he is black….

                      Just kidding. Couldn’t resist since this comment string has gone off the rails already.

                      I didn’t read the article or the summary when I read the first comment and the ones that followed. I thought the picture was of the worker defending his actions like the other, though less violent and illegal, stories of an employee doing something to stop crime and getting fired.

              • pecan 3.14159265 says:

                I saw the photo but couldn’t read the text on the screen. I figured it could either be the victim or the worker. And I didn’t assume it was the victim.

              • Jawaka says:

                So basically the rule now is that we can’t never criticize a person of color (correct term today?) for doing something stupid otherwise we’re all racists?

            • Smiling says:

              He chickened out? How about he decided to do the right thing and not steal?

              • Peggee has pearls and will clutch them when cashiers ask "YOU GOT A WIC CHECK MA'AM?" says:

                People who worry about doing “the right thing” usually don’t get so far as to pick out DVDs and get almost all the way out of the store.

                It’s not like he was stealing food because he hadn’t eaten in three days.

              • Bsamm09 says:

                Chickened out!?!?!

                Please stop the unabashed racism.

            • Kuri says:

              I’d say because, well, he didn’t do it, and we don’t know his reason why, maybe his conscience got to him

            • dcatz says:

              He is a punk because he tried to shoplift.

              I grow tired of the liberals playing the race card anytime one of their own is criticized. I grew up going to a school that was 80% black and the only racism I ever encountered there was from the black population against whites.

              • rdclark says:

                “Liberals… one of their own.”

                Are you saying all liberals are black, or all blacks are liberals?

                • 180CS says:

                  I think he’s saying that all dcatz are uneducated hicks that embarrass the party, presumably Republican, that they vote for.

          • StarKillerX says:

            Well for one we only have the word of this kid that he didn’t shoplift the items he had intended to.

            • RadarOReally has got the Post-Vacation Blues says:

              Yes, if he had shoplifted then it would definitely make a difference to whether he deserves permanent back problems.

              • StarKillerX says:

                Which has nothing to do with if the kid is a punk or not, which is what I was responding to.

                • RadarOReally has got the Post-Vacation Blues says:

                  Aha. My apologies, then. This particular posting chain has gotten too convoluted for my comfort.

                  • StarKillerX says:

                    No problem, once comments get multiple replies which get mutliple replies I know if can be tough figuring out which comment a post in responding to.

          • longfeltwant says:

            I just watched the video on the linked article. In the video the kid does seem like a bit of a punk. Not a lot of a punk though.

            My question is why was the charge aggravated assault instead of attempted murder? Don’t prosecutors charge the maximum plausible crime, then plea down to lesser crimes? That would seem appropriate in this case.

            • pecan 3.14159265 says:

              He left some of his punkage at the door with the almost-stolen DVDs.

              • 180CS says:

                Wait, I didn’t read the source article yet. HE STOLE DVDS?

                Okay, nevermind. He’s not a punk. Just a complete idiot.
                (Antitrolling disclaimer: I’d be saying this whether he was white, black, asian, spanish, blue, green, purple, martian, etc)

          • Difdi says:

            It’s not racist to call a criminal a criminal. It IS racist to scream “RACISM!” just because of that person’s skin color.

          • 180CS says:

            punk2  noun
            1.Slang.
            a. something or someone worthless or unimportant.
            b. a young ruffian; hoodlum.
            c. an inexperienced youth.
            d. a young male partner of a homosexual.
            e. an apprentice, especially in the building trades.
            f. Prison Slang . a boy.

            I don’t think this guy fits D or E, but he fits A-C nicely, and could end up fitting F someday too (at which point, he could easily then fit C).

            Eminem is a punk. Most of the white kids who where always suspended back when I was in high school where punks. The white kids who stole CDs in the 90s where punks.

            I could copy and paste that above set of declaratory statements, change all instances of white to say asian/black/medican/blue/green/martian, and it would still be true. Interestingly enough, nobody said anything about skin color.

            If you’d like, your local community college is now accepting open enrollment, and I hear some of the developmental classes go over what racism is, societal norms, etc.

      • JollySith says:

        He did not steal because he either knew they had seen him or he chickened out. Still a punk, just not very good at it. He still didn’t deserve to be rammed by a car. The biggest loser in this story is the idiot vigilante.

        • Kuri says:

          Or his conscience got to him and he left it because he didn’t want to be a criminal.

          But yes, the fault is with the vigilante.

      • bfwc07 says:

        OK, JJFIII, time to put the race card back in the deck…

      • Blueskylaw says:

        Did you know that PLANNING to kill someone
        is a crime, even if you don’t go through with it?

        I guess it’s the thought that counts.

      • Golfer Bob says:

        Bigot. You forgot bigot.

        • tmitch says:

          And homophobe. Don’t forget that. Oh, and the poster probably kicks kittens too.

          People who play the race card are usually racist, IMO.

      • TheMansfieldMauler says:

        Please keep throwing “racist” into every conversation you possibly can so that soon the word will have little to no real meaning. Thank you.

        • 180CS says:

          The white guy: “Well, I sued them because they only made black plastic bags. I thought it was racially insensitive to those of us who are tan or white.”

          The black guy: “Well, I’m suing the manufacturer because they only made white candles. I thought it was culturally insensitive of them to not make black ones.”

          Seriously, we have people suing McDonalds because, apparently, hot coffee is hot coffee. It will get that bad someday.

      • dolemite says:

        More like: a kid that was going to steal, and got cold feet. It wasn’t like “This is…wrong, just wrong. I shall turn over a new leaf!” I’d call anyone that puts stuff in their pockets with the intent to steal it a punk. I don’t care if it’s a tiny white college cheerleader.

        • Jane_Gage says:

          He would have broken both wings of his pelvis too, but the director’s cut of Cowboys and Aliens absorbed the blow.

      • Jawaka says:

        What made you even consider the word ‘racism’ since the person you responded to never even brought up the person’s race?

      • Oh_No84 says:

        The kid attempted to steal and dropped the stuff as he was spooked from some reason. Most likely he saw someone eyeing him so he unloaded the stuff.

        Yes the kid is a punk and idiot, but i have no idea how calling him that has anything to do with race.

      • SirWired says:

        Yes a kid that swipes something off the shelf and merely changes his mind at the last second is a punk.

        And racist? Huh? What? Where did THAT come from? Since when did the word “Punk” refer to any particular race?

    • Alexk says:

      Even assuming the kid is a “punk” (a nice, vague term, subject to whatever subjective definitin you want to apply), the former Walmart employee is a sociopath. You dont’ attempt vehicular homicide over a shoplifting incident.

      • cactus jack says:

        Giving him the label of sociopath because of an article describing one (extremely stupid) action is a bit unfair. That would be similar to me judging you for your misplaced apostrophe.

        • suezahn says:

          You’re equating leaving your job, getting in your car, actively hunting this kid down and running him over with…a punctuation error? Man, I’m not sure whether that disturbs me more than the article.

          • longfeltwant says:

            No. He was not equating them. He was pointing out that both of them would be absurd.

          • Blueskylaw says:

            You forgot an Oxford Comma in your sentence.

            LOL

          • 180CS says:

            What suezahn said!

            “Sociopathy is the result of social conditioning which leads to a lack of natural human values.”

            Personally, I think its very plausible that someone who stalks and then tries to maul someone down because they *thought* about stealing from an employer who pays ten dollars an hour stands a good chance at fitting the description of sociopath.

        • StarKillerX says:

          Yes because a punctuation error is just as noteworthy as intentionally hitting someone with your car.

          • Smiling says:

            And, don’t forget that hitting someone with your car isn’t at all sociopathic. /s

            • Smiling says:

              Excuse me, purposely hitting them with your car.

              • 180CS says:

                You forgot stalking them. It’s not like the guy jumped in his car and did this in the parking lot. To an extent, this was premeditated.

            • StarKillerX says:

              Well sure, although that is only the case if it’s in response to someone shoplifting dvds since in that case running them down is totally justified! lol!

        • Alex d'Indiana says:

          Let’s see, we have three offenses:

          1. Considering shop-lifting DVD’s
          2. Attempted vehicular homicide
          3. A typographical error

          If you don’t know which one of those is the worst of the three, our society has failed.

    • SirWired says:

      Whoa… I was referring to the perpetrator as a “punk” in the way that I’d refer to any shoplifting youth as a “punk.” I was not aware the word had any racial connotations whatsoever. Does it?

      • Anna Kossua says:

        SirWired, I read your original statement as you meant the Walmart employee was the punk. And you said that as a difference between employees in other companies that end up in stories here like “Cashier thwarts armed robber, then gets canned.”

        If I’m wrong, no worries! Calling a would-be shoplifter a punk isn’t a racist thing. It’s the kind of word I’d use for anybody in that young and stupid phase. Lord knows I was a young, stupid punk once! Also, I’m an old punk-rocker, so I don’t see it as a racist word. (I hate racism and veiled racism, and I didn’t see it here.)

      • Kuri says:

        Thing is, he didn’t shoplift. He thought about it, and decided to do the right thing, so no shoplifting happened.

  2. synimatik says:

    I think it was a Nickleback cd, in which case, he deserved to get run over for encouraging Nickleback.

    • AzCatz07 says:

      I like Nickelback.

      But then again I’m not one of those sheeple who needs other people to tell me what I should and shouldn’t like. The internet has decided that Nickelback is the worst band in the world for reasons I don’t understand. But they’re laughing all the way to the bank.

      • Kuri says:

        I think it’s because their frontman decided to be a complete douche over being criticized.

      • dolemite says:

        I liked them when they first came out. Then I focused.

      • Anna Kossua says:

        It didn’t help Nickelback’s case that people took two of their hit songs and spliced them into a video with one on the left speaker, one on the right speaker, and they synced up perfectly.

  3. carterpeartford says:

    totally understandable, if I worked for Walmart I’d have unquestionable loyalty to the store too, I’m sure they’d have my back in a situation like this.

    • RadarOReally has got the Post-Vacation Blues says:

      I was thinking when I first saw the headline how it seems these stories are almost always Wal-Mart. It’s like there’s some cult mentality there. “Must protect the hive.” I know that’s an exaggeration, just seems that way sometimes.

  4. benminer says:

    Karma wise, this punk deserved what he got. Legally, you cannot intentionally hit people with your car.

    And please stop making excuses. This kid intended and attempted to shoplift. He only chickened out at the last minute because he thought he would be caught.

    • GoBobbyGo says:

      I would argue that “because he thought he would be caught” is the #1 most popular reason for people not shoplifting. He just took a little longer to come to that conclusion.

      • dolemite says:

        That’s the most popular reason among CRIMINALS to not shoplift. For the other 99% of us, it’s because it’s wrong to steal and take other people’s property.

    • CheritaChen says:

      No, the victim definitely did not deserve to be hit by a car for (almost) shoplifting. I’m all about people taking responsibility for their actions, but to say he deserved this is ridiculous.

      He deserved not to succeed in stealing…which he’d already managed to take care of himself before the employee went after him. Now the jerk who hit him deserves to go to jail and to pay his medical bills.

    • Difdi says:

      Actually that’s not 100% true. A car, like a gun, is a deadly weapon. Shooting a guy because he stepped on your toes is not proportionate use of force, and is therefore not self-defense.

      But if someone is shooting at you because you stepped on his toes, use of a deadly weapon to stop him is fully justified. Knife, car, gun, they’re all deadly weapons.

  5. Alex d'Indiana says:

    Something tells me that this comment thread will end up with more condemnation for a teen who considered shoplifting DVD’s than for an adult who considered vehicular homicide, because some people have awesome priorities.

    I’ll just throw it out there that lots of teens consider shop-lifting, including my brother when he was 16 (who got caught and sentenced to community service). Now he’s a major in the USAF. The death penalty wouldn’t have been the appropriate response.

    Shoplifting is a stupid thing otherwise decent people consider doing, especially young people. Vehicular homicide is outside the realm of what decent people, even on a bad day, might do. The perpetrator has some deeper issues and probably shouldn’t have access to a car if this story happened as reported.

    • Kuri says:

      I know I’d thought about it on numerous occasions, but never went through with it, usually hen I “chickened out”

  6. Lucky225 says:

    ” and the driver is longer employed at Walmart. ” So they extended his employment? :D

  7. scoosdad says:

    [Andy Rooney mode on]

    Why is it that accused criminals are always reported in the press with three names?

    “Lance Jason Ferguson, 33, has been charged with aggravated assault.”

    And yet the name of the guy who was allegedly the shoplifter hit by the car is written about with only two names?

    “Dominique Mason, a high school senior, said he was about to walk out of the store with them without paying, but then he had a change of heart.”

    Just a random Friday observation with something that I’ve always noticed.

    • CheritaChen says:

      This is why parents who don’t want their kids to become serial killers, or at least, infamous criminals, do not give them middle names. Life lessons, people.

    • Blueskylaw says:

      Here’s a link to start off a humid Friday morning:

      http://www.newsoftheweird.com/wayne.html

      • scoosdad says:

        Yeah, Wayne is the one I was thinking about, primarily. I think it is statistically significant for some sociological reason.

        Parents, if you don’t want your kids to be serial killers, then don’t give them the middle name Wayne. Or Wynona. Better yet, if you want them to stay out of the weekly police log, don’t give them a middle name at all. My father had no middle name and he was never arrested so I know it works.

    • Peggee has pearls and will clutch them when cashiers ask "YOU GOT A WIC CHECK MA'AM?" says:

      I’m going to throw out a guess here. If someone’s been arrested, usually their full legal name is on record and that’s what would be given to reporters. In order to preserve the quote (and protect against possibly causing trouble for someone with the same first and last name), they report the full name.

      Anyone involved who wasn’t arrested probably just talks to them directly and doesn’t mention a middle name, so it doesn’t get included.

  8. Harry Greek says:

    Watch out, we got us some badasses over here!!

    Stealing does not justify running the thief over with a car. For anyone to think this is justifiable, you are a blood thirsty idiot who lives in a fantasy world of violence and is impotent to do anything in real life about the things they wish they had control over.

    Endangering the life of someone who has not endangered yours makes YOU the bad guy.

    This reminds me of the time when a sick man in Texas shot a police officer for pulling him over to put his seat belt on.

    This country has way too many diseased mind self righteous creeps.

    • Golfer Bob says:

      Yes, and many of them on the internet.

    • dolemite says:

      My theory is it’s our capitalistic society. As people work harder, longer hours for less pay and fewer benefits as corporations outsource jobs, people really become offended by the idea of other people getting things for free that they pay for. Honestly, I think a lot of our recent problems in society can be traced to the declination of the middle class and the skyrocketing profits of corporations and the hoarding of wealth by a select few people.

      • Golfer Bob says:

        I thought it was because they are assholes.

      • Draw2much says:

        I’m skeptical. I’m pretty sure people in all times and places who have money or goods to sell don’t like thieves. Depending on your country and the era in which you lived, would greatly influence the kind of actions you would take if you caught a thief. (Even a potential one.) Keep in mind that how we, as a society, treats thieves would be considered wishy washy in other countries and other times.

        It seems more likely this dude had some untreated mental health issues. Normal people don’t go around trying to run over kids who try to steal stuff with a car. Even in a pseudo-capitalistic country such as ours. ;)

  9. thomwithanh says:

    Hey, is that the “It’s fun to do bad things” kid who took his grandmother’s car for a joyride?

  10. Blueskylaw says:

    So the kid was hit by a car, supposedly suffered back injuries, and yet is seen in a news cast
    (at his home?) standing upright and giving an interview.

    Ohh the humanity!!!

    • GrandizerGo says:

      Uh, yeah, if you bothered to look at the information, he got hit in EARLY July and the news report was 1 month later.

      Your snarky comment is now been judged, and found wanting.

      • GrandizerGo says:

        has*

      • Blueskylaw says:

        A back injury that completely heals itself within 1 month? He’s either got a miracle worker of a doctor/surgeon or his lawyer was full of sh*t and was trying to pass off a bruise or strain as something serious.

        • Difdi says:

          Depends on the injury. A simple pinched nerve can stop you from walking, and is fixed in five minutes by a chiropractor. Not all back injuries involve gibbing.

          • 180CS says:

            what difdi said. You can sometimes fix a problem that has existed for years in just hours with a good chiropractor. Moreover, my mother for example, has two herniated disks she refuses to fix. She walks around a decent amount, and just puts up with the pain.

            I must be going nuts, because I could swear it sounds like you are actually trying to say that because he can stand up, a back injury must not exist, and that being hit by someones car out of hate/vengance is no big deal?

            • Anna Kossua says:

              What both of you said.

              I worked with a woman who had a back injury and had spent a year getting surgery and recovering. She decided she was OK to go back to work, but sitting at a desk all day made all the pain come back. She ended up quitting within a few weeks, as it was a job that was all done on computers and there were no facilities to stand and compute.

        • 180CS says:

          what difdi said. You can fix a pro

    • There's room to move as a fry cook says:

      The video says he had bruising on his back not that he had major back injuries. He also went to the ER to get checked out immediately after the incident. The fact that he has minor injuries is a blessing and doesn’t negate Walmart’s liability for their employees’ conduct.,

  11. Hoss says:

    Zimmerman got work at Walmart?

  12. Press1forDialTone says:

    Ah, Darwin at work, love it.
    Not o the part of the shoplifter who decided not to commit a crime, but on the
    no-brain bag-of-water that thought hitting the kid wouldn’t have any consequences.
    Ha!

    • Difdi says:

      Self-defense is proportionate to threat.

      Aggravated assault or attempted murder in response to petty theft is not proportionate.

  13. HogwartsProfessor says:

    How did race even get into this? You guys are starting to make me wonder. Also, I always thought “punk” meant bratty little JD asshole.

    Kids are stupid. They do stupid things without thinking. When you’re in high school, the judgment part of your brain isn’t even done cooking yet. That’s why parents are always going “What were you thinking!?!” Usually, they weren’t.

    This kid apparently rethought what he was doing before he got in trouble. Good for him, for being able to check a stupid impulse.

    The employee was way out of line, and deserved to be fired. Not for violating policy (although as we’ve seen, that will get you canned from Walfarts) but CHASING THE KID DOWN AND HITTING HIM WITH A CAR. Yes, that is aggravated assault, and a car is considered a deadly weapon.

    I have no sympathy for the employee. What. So. Ever. As for the kid, a ban from the store is sufficient, since he didn’t actually take anything out the door. And, you know, was assaulted by an employee.

  14. Jawaka says:

    I don’t see the kid as some poor innocent victim but he also didn’t deserve what happened to him.

  15. Aliciaz777 says:

    My mom used to work at Wal Mart about 16 years ago and I remember her coming home early once because she and another employee went after a shoplifter who was stealing a VCR or DVD player (I don’t remember which it was). Well she chased him out the front door and the thief threw the item at my mom, hitting her in the chest as she caught it. My mom was in the military and can hold her own, so the thief is lucky he got away from her. My mom wasn’t fired, but instead got a week’s paid vacation and Wal Mart paid her doctor bills for the injury. Maybe they had a different policy back then? I don’t know.

    I do know that what this kid in the story experienced will probably deter him from ever trying to shoplift again. I can’t stand thieves.

  16. PragmaticGuy says:

    Where’s Bernie Goetz when you need him??

  17. xspimpin says:

    See, all of this could have been avoided if Walmart had the same sign that is posted at most stores I frequent.

    “If you plan to shoplift, please let us know.”

    http://r1.sgsr.us/imgs/250/g405.gif