While there is still plenty of room for confusion involving a recent police-on-civilian incident in New Hampshire, one thing is clear: A woman tried to buy more iPhones than an Apple store wanted to sell her, and she ended up on the ground outside getting tased by cops. A language barrier may have exacerbated the situation, as the woman is from China and says she didn’t understand police orders.
Police in Nashua, N.H. say the woman from Newton, Mass. refused to leave an Apple store and then resisted arrest, reports Boston.com. She was charged with criminal trespass and resisting arrest.
The woman told WMUR Channel 9 through her daughter that she doesn’t speak English and didn’t now what was going on. She says she just wanted to buy iPhones for her family last week, and when employees told her she couldn’t buy more than two at a time, she filmed other customers who were buying multiple phones.
She was asked to leave the store, but returned on Tuesday. At that time, she kept asking “why?” said the police captain, and was told she’d have to leave or face charges for criminal trespassing. She asked “why” again and refused to leave, resisting an officer who tried to handcuff her.
“One handcuff was on her and she wouldn’t move her other arm to be handcuffed,” said the captain. The officer took her to the ground and called for assistance. After 10 to 15 minutes where the woman was lying on the ground in the mall outside the Apple store, another cop arrived.
“They told her to put her hand behind her back, she refused to do so,” he said. “She was tased. After that, she put her hand behind her back.”
Police say a “dry force” taser was used on the woman, which has no probes and is less painful than other types of tasers. WMUR has a video of the incident in its news report, wherein the woman can be heard screaming as the taser is used.
The captain added that she had $16,000 in cash with her.
The woman’s family says this all happened because the woman doesn’t speak English.
“My mom says she doesn’t know why they called the police because she doesn’t understand what they are talking about,” her daughter told WMUR, explaining that she didn’t understand what was happening and watched the video of her arrest (captured by a bystander with a cell phone) later on her iPhone.
“My mom’s just really upset because she’s in a different country (and) nobody’s helping her. She doesn’t understand any English.”
Despite that claim, cops say she knew what was happening.
“I would look at it this way,” said the police captain. “She was asked to leave the store before and she left. She was asked to leave Tuesday and she was asking why. We think she knew what was going on.”
UPDATE: Consumerist reader Charles wrote in to point out that Apple lifted the two phone per customer limit for the holidays, and as such, he tried going to Apple.coma and was able to order more than 10 phones. He called the Apple store in the story above and asked if he could buy more than two phones, and says he was told he could.
So, why was the woman asked to leave the store, then?