Walgreens Customer Mistaken For Homeless Person, Kicked Out Of Store

An overzealous Walgreens security guard and a case of mistaken identity led to what the drugstore chain is calling “an unfortunate situation” in Chicago. A 62-year-old man, a Vietnam War veteran, claims that he entered the store and a security guard asked him to leave or face arrest. The guard had mistaken him for a homeless man who had caused problems at the same store.

CBS Chicago is learning about this all secondhand, because the man asked to leave the store is now in the hospital. His wife says that the incident with the security guard triggered a post-traumatic stress disorder episode by reminding him of upsetting events in his past. Not experiences in battle, but from being turned away from stores off-base because of his race while he was stationed in Germany. In addition to the mental distress, his blood pressure was spiking, and he’s been in a Veterans Administration hospital for several days.

His wife admits that the man does dress “eccentrically” and could be mistaken for a homeless person, especially since he wears his military fatigues and medals out in public. She took her complaint to the media after the store manager wouldn’t provide a written apology saying that he had done nothing wrong. She says that the manager did, however, offer a $20 gift card.

“We apologize that this occurred…and we certainly value our customers…especially our veterans who serve our country,” Walgreens said in a statement to CBS radio.

Vietnam Vet Mistaken As Homeless, Kicked Out Of Walgreens [CBS Chicago]