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I'm Either Incredibly Brave, or Stupid!

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
I went grocery shopping after work today. I was sitting outside the store at about 3:20pm waiting for a Taxi Cab. The next thing I know I see some guy accosting a woman. He was in a black T-Shirt and jeans with several earrings in his ear and a few tattoos.

He was pushing and shoving her around. Grabbing her clothing, and at one point it looked like he was behind her trying to push her to the ground. There was another girl there and she was pulling him and yelling "Get off of her!", but he reached behind and pushed her away.

Then he grabbed the girl he was all over by the back of the neck and literally threw her head first down into the concrete! I heard a loud crack, which could only have been made from her head hitting the pavement

I saw a bunch of people, including guys standing there just watching like it was some circus side show!

I dropped my purse and my bags and ran over to help that girl. I thought her boy friend was beating her up.

I ran over and yelled at him to leave her alone. He told me to mind my own business.

I walked right up to him, grabbed him by the back of his shirt and pulled and told him to leave her the bleep alone. I was fully prepared to give him a punch to the kidneys if needed.

Now in the mean time she had tried to get up but he once again grabbed her by the back of the neck and threw her head first into the concrete with heavy force. She stopped her head from hitting the pavement by putting her arm out so she hit the concrete with her forearm instead, followed by her face.

I went running into the store yelling at the top of my lungs for someone to call 911 because someone was getting beaten up outside.

I came back outside and now they were in the parking lot. There was another guy standing there beside them watching and then he joined in. So now there were 2 of them all over this one woman. I had come out of the store just in time to see him throw her down head first into the pavement again. I yelled at him that the police have been called. He said "I am the police!"

At that point he was kneeling on her and trying to bend her arm behind her. I saw that he had a pair of handcuffs in his hand that he was trying to put on her. Her left arm was in such an awkward position that it looked like it might have been dislocated.

Apparently he was under cover store security and he saw her shopping lifting a deli salad and was trying to apprehend her.

IMO he was using excessive force. She was inebriated and staggering, she didn't have a gun or a knife or any other type of weapon and she was about 70 pounds lighter than he was. I told him that he was using excessive force and that he had no right be throwing her head first into the concrete like he had been, even if she did shoplift. He told me that she tried to kick him.

While he was kneeling on her back with all of his weight, I was giving him a piece of my mind for how he had treated her.

I told him that I didn't care if she had him by the family jewels (not the term I used), he still didn't have the right to be physically abusing her the way he was and throwing her head down into the concrete risking her hitting her head and brain injury or even death.

I'm sure she hit her head at least once. An arm hitting concrete doesn't make a loud cracking sound, but the table was in the way and I didn't see what happened with his first "throw down", I just heard the sound, which I'm sure was her head.

They took the woman inside the store. The manager came out after the fact. I spoke to him and told him that if that was their store security, they need to reign them in because they had used way more force and tactics that they shouldn't have in order to apprehend her.

The police showed a few minutes after that, as did a Fire Truck who went in with a back board. As I was leaving I saw and ambulance show up. I'm sure she has more than a bunch of bruises because the was going at her pretty hard.

I didn't get a chance to stop and talk to the police in detail other than to tell them that the fight turned out to be store security apprehending a shop lifter, but I also told them that they should go in and investigate anyway because I felt they had used excessive force.

My cab arrived at that time. When I got home I called the police and left my name and phone number in case a witness was needed.

Now yes, what she did was wrong, but she doesn't deserve to be jumped all over and literally beaten up by store security. While they didn't punch her with their fists that I could see, everything else you would have seen in a bar fight, and that is just not right!!

I didn't see her try to hit him or kick him or even try to bite him. All I saw was her trying to get up from the ground and once up try to get away from him to presumably run off, but like I said she was somewhat inebriated and was no threat to him physically.

Anyway, I didn't even think about what I was doing when I approached and started to intervene. I just knew that I couldn't stand there and watch a woman getting beaten up.
post #2 of 15
I think you were incredible brave. Not many people would have intervened, as you know first hand. I agree what you are describing was way over the top. I hope the woman will be ok.
post #3 of 15
Wow That does sound like excessive force to me too! You were brave to try to pull the guy off of her. You didn't know they were store security. They should not have been so brutal to her. I think they need to investigate the guy for excessive force!!
post #4 of 15
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by abbycats View Post
think they need to investigate the guy for excessive force!!
Yeah, that's what I told the store manager and the police. He was completely out of hand.
post #5 of 15
Good on you - I'm a "step in and yell at them" kind of person as well. There's no way I could watch someone being beaten up.

I hope she's ok, and that idiot security guard gets an ass kicking!
post #6 of 15
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by sarahp View Post
I hope she's ok, and that idiot security guard gets an ass kicking!
Me too on both accounts.

My blood is still boiling over it.
post #7 of 15
Sounds like this guy was getting carried away with his own authority.

What a jerk!
post #8 of 15
Linda, you're a hero! I doubt I would have had the courage to step in like that. You're amazing!
post #9 of 15
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by CarolPetunia View Post
I doubt I would have had the courage to step in like that.
You don't really know what you are capable of until you are in the situation.

I'm not that brave of a person. While I'm very outspoken, I'm actually quite timid when it comes to confrontation. It's been years since I've felt safe walking around our streets at at night. And I'm very aware that these days you just mind your own business because you could easily get stabbed or shot.

However, I saw this guy beating up this woman and throwing her to the ground head first, and I didn't even think about it. At first I was so stunned to see what I was seeing that it didn't really register what was going on. I mean it's not something you see everyday. But once it registered I just leaped up and ran over without even thinking about it. I never sat there thinking "Should I or shouldn't I?"

I was in an abusive relationship where I had been beaten up with everything from fists to metal vacuum cleaner wands. Ever since I got out of that relationship (in 1984 or 1985), I've been a big advocate for abused women. So maybe that was the reason that I did what I did without thinking about what could happen to me.

I just saw a woman getting beaten up by what I thought was her boy friend, and just reacted to what I saw.

In hindsight it was rather stupid of me to confront him as I did. He could very well have been her boy friend or a gang member and had a gun and shot me. But at the same time she was in a vulnerable position and needed help.

Personally I hope she presses charges against him for what he did to her. Yes, she shop lifted which is a crime. But she was also a victim of some ego maniac power tripping on his responsibility. If she does decide to press charges, the police have my name and number and I am more than willing to act as a witness on her behalf.
post #10 of 15
You were brave and did the right thing. The security guard should have immediately identified himself to you. By not doing that, he risked being shot or otherwise accosted by any officer arriving on the scene.
post #11 of 15
Thread Starter 

There is a news story about this. The reporter got a few things wrong. I was sitting there waiting, not walking by, but the gist of it is right.

According to Safeway, they feel he was well within his rights to have acted the way he had. I'm still writing a letter to the head office. And I'm going to talk to the police about him having impersonated a police officer and the excessive force that he used.
post #12 of 15
Since when does anyone think its okay to treat ANYONE like that!?..let alone a woman being abused by a man because of SHOPLIFTING.

What is this world coming to?
post #13 of 15
Thread Starter 
Technically she didn't steal anything. The salad was still inside the store between the 2 doors where the shopping carts are kept. I know because I tripped over it on the way inside the store and on the way out.

If she had been outside the store with the salad, then yes, she was stealing. But the salad was dropped about 5 feet inside the store.
post #14 of 15
I just wanted to add my congradulations. You should be proud of yourself for what you did. I hope that I could be that brave in a simillar situation. It reminds me that "Evil happens when good men (or women!) do nothng."
post #15 of 15
Oh Linda! You are so very brave!

There is no reason a "loss prevention officer" should have been behaving that way! Not even a police officer! Unbelievable! I hope the woman presses charges
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