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Despite proof of innocence, Wal-Mart accuses, detains Tampa woman for shoplifting

in Local Courts by

Even after evidence of her innocence was brought to light, a woman was charged with shoplifting at Wal-Mart.

The woman, Vicki Carll, 57, is suing Wal-Mart for negligence that led to her being falsely detained and prosecuted.

Carll is also suing Wal-Mart employees Arismendy Rosario and Rashad Kirkland.

On Jan. 2, 2014, Carl headed to Wal-Mart to purchase dog food for Manny, her 11-year-old dog.

While in the store, Carll browsed the aisles before going to the pet section. Carll placed a bag of dog food into her cart before going to a shelf that housed flea and tick medicine. She picked up a box of the pills and read the instructions while walking through the store.

Soon after, Carll realized the medication was for dogs much larger than hers. She set the box containing the medication on a nearby shelf, not the rack it came from.

The suit claims that the whole time Carll shopped, she was unknowingly followed by Rosario. From the time she entered the store, Rosario targeted her. He followed behind Carll as she shopped, noting she picked up the medicine and left it behind before checking out. Rosario then grabbed the abandoned pet medication and sat on a bench by the exit. Here, he waited for Carll to leave the store.

While waiting, Rosario planted the pills under the bench.

Carll went to check out and pay for the dog food before exiting the store.

Rosario physically confronted Carll on the sidewalk outside the main entrance, taking hold of Carll with his full force. It wasn’t long before Kirkland came for back up.

The two forced Carll back toward the bench where Rosario had planted the pills. At no time did Carll fight back with the two men. She was then thrown to the ground.

Rosario falsely claimed he witnessed Carll steal the medicine.

Video footage provided by Wal-Mart showed these events take place. It clearly showed Rosario plant the pills under the bench.

Rosario was a new hire at the Wal-Mart. His position as a “floorwalker,” more commonly referred to as a loss prevention officer, required he patrol the store, looking out for suspicious activity. Wal-Mart authorizes all floor walkers to detain customers that are suspected of shoplifting. They refer to the process of detainment as “making a stop.” All stops are to be made in a “professional, responsible manner, without causing harm to the person who is the subject of the stop,” according to the suit.

Rosario hadn’t performed any stops before his encounter with Carll. However, he was trained by another floorwalker at a separate location where he was taught the ins and outs of the position.

On the day of the incident, Rosario was wearing regular clothes to blend in with customers and Kirkland was Rosario’s supervisor.

Even after the footage surfaced, Wal-Mart continued with the shoplifting charges brought against Carll. The court determined Carll was innocent minutes after reviewing the footage.

Due to the events, Carll suffered from physical and mental pain. She was deprived of work and her duties at her church were given to other members. Carll used to frequent Wal-Mart before the incident, however now she must take anti-anxiety medicine before going out in public, and she cannot do activities she used to enjoy, like body building and jet skiing, due to the injuries she sustained.

Carll is a disabled mother, ordained minister, and deaconess of Revealing Truth Ministries. She had many duties at the church.

The Wal-Mart store the event occurred at is located on North Dale Mabry Highway in Tampa.

 

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