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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Posts
    17

    Default Falsely Accused at Walmart

    My question involves criminal law for the state of: Washington.

    First, forgive me. This has nothing to do with shoplifting, though I was unaware of where to put it otherwise.

    Several weeks ago, I was at Walmart, walking around with my around my friend. It was late at night, and as one of the few places open in my town in the early morning, it was more a matter of burning time until we went to sleep than anything.

    What I should note, is that this Walmart was in Everett, a particularly shady city in Washington. I was dressed down in Abercrombie, driving a Bimmer, and my friend looked anything but threatening, particularly when compared to a store full of graveyard-shift buyers, and boys in hoodies with sunken eyes.

    Now, what happened is two of these hoodie-kids approached me, asking where rip-sticks are kept. [A skate-board-like toy. Pretty fun.] I was walking to show them when I hear a voice behind me, 'Sir, please leave.'

    I turn around, a bit incredulous. Asking, 'Me?'

    He nods, and I ask why.
    He replies saying he 'caught me huffing'.
    As someone against drugs all my life, I laughed pretty hard, requesting, 'Any evidence?'

    His response was to repeatedly tell me I had to leave, whereas I repeatedly asked for evidence. He said he'd bring me to an associate who apparently saw me.

    He did so, and promptly asked 'Dave' to call the police without me ever hearing an apparent associate say a word, and said I had to stay until they arrived. I said all I'd asked for was evidence, which he hadn't shown, and he exclaimed I was resisting him.

    Skipping ahead, I began walking out of the store -- Since the point of coming in the first place had been spoiled. He caught up to me, repeatedly telling me I had to stay with him, and I replied that he initially told me to leave, so I was, and he was welcome to stop me.

    He ended up calling a rather large, bald man over to help him hold me back? --And I immediately asked the guy for his manager. His manager comes by, gives me some impromptu semi-apology about how 'they just want to prevent horse-play', despite having never done anything of the sort, I accepted it, then spent my sweet time afterwards buying a Fuze for my friend and leaving.

    My questions are this:
    Was the employee at all out of bounds?
    Making up false-charges? Demanding I had to stay?

    And assuming I see him again, how should I respond?
    The manager said they did not have to show me any evidence -- I'd normally have to stay until the police reviewed it, then they'd determine if they wanted to prosecute me.

    I'd have stayed, but my friend wanted to go home and didn't drive --
    But I'm also wondering if that'd have been a dangerous decision.

    Any advice, in case this guy happens to exert his 'authority' again?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Toledo, OH
    Posts
    16,113

    Default Re: Falsely Accused at Walmart

    And assuming I see him again, how should I respond?
    Why in the world would you continue to shop in an establishment that treated you poorly?

    Really, what you drive and what you wear make no difference at all. LP doesn't care and neither do the courts. If you act suspicious, LP will stop you.

    If they ask you to leave, YOU LEAVE. Even if you don't think they're justified. It's private property, you have no inherent right to be there.
    I'm not a lawyer, but I play a researcher on the internet!
    Caution: I bite. WARNING: Do not send questions or complaints by PM. I'm likely to post them publicly and embarrass you half to death.
    I'm training for the MS Society's Bike to the Bay - and blogging about it!

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