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Wal-Mart security kills man who stole BB Gun and diapers

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by P95loser, Aug 19, 2005.

  1. P95loser

    P95loser Well-Known Member

    A Cleveland man died last Sunday after a scuffle with security guards at the Walmart Super Center located at 6626 FM1960 in Atascocita.

    According to witnesses, Stacy Driver ran out of the store and was pursued by Walmart loss prevention employees. A short time later, Driver was dead, and the Walmart employees were trying to explain the last moments of his life to police.

    Charles Portz said he was getting out of his car when he saw a heavy blonde haired man being chased by five people who appeared to be security or store employees. He said he saw them wrestling the man to the ground. "The blacktop was extremely hot," said Portz "He had no shirt on and they wouldn't let him up off the blacktop." He said one of the men had Driver in a chokehold and had his knee in the back of his neck as the men tried to subdue him. "He kept trying to get up and they kept pushing him back down," Portz said.

    According to Portz, Driver began to plead with them men. "He's begging, 'Please call an ambulance, let me up, do something, I'm gonna die," said Portz. He said the loss prevention employees called the police more than once, but another bystander called for an ambulance after realizing Driver was in trouble. Portz said he eventually began to plead with the Walmart employees. "I told them, this guy doesn't look like he's breathing," Portz said, "They said, 'He's all right." He says he continued to plead with the men, pointing out that the man's fingernails were turning gray. "They said he's just high on something," adding, "They just kept him pinned down for twenty minutes or more until the ambulance came." He said he believed Driver was dead when the ambulance left with him, but he was not certain.

    The store employees could not have known that the witness who was pleading with them to let Driver get up from the hot pavement was a high profile Houston attorney, from the Portz and Portz law firm. He said after the man was handcuffed he continued trying in vain to persuade the Walmart employees to allow him to get up, even pointing out that a second pair of cuffs could be used to attach the ones already on Driver to a nearby truck trailer. "The problem is they kept him down on the blistering concrete with no shirt on," Portz reiterated. He said law enforcement arrived at about the same time as the ambulance.

    Detective Robert T. Tonry, with the Homicide Division of the Harris County Sheriff's Department is investigating the death. He confirmed that Driver had struggled with Walmart loss prevention employees before being handcuffed and was not breathing a short time later. Tonry said he was transported to Northeast Medical Center in Humble where he pronounced dead. According to Tonry, some of the items Driver had in his possession which were believed to have been stolen were baby diapers, a BB gun and BBs.

    Tonry said he was talking to store employees and would be contacting other witnesses. He said anyone else who might have information should contact the Homicide Division of the Harris County Sheriff's Department.

    Driver was the son of H.C. Driver of Cleveland. Pat Driver was his step-mother and her sister Lily was speaking for the family on Monday. "The boy was loved and he might have done something wrong, but he did not deserve that," Lily said, "The family has no other comment at this time. "He would have celebrated his 31st birthday on August 31. Instead, his family is making funeral arrangements. As of this writing, the official cause of death had not been released.

    Note to those posting comments:

    We WILL NOT post ANY comments that would in ANY way be hurtful to this man's family.

    We also remind readers that there is no proof he actually took anything.

    Advocate staff

    source: http://www.zwire.com/site/news.cfm?newsid=15014453&BRD=1574&PAG=461&dept_id=532241&rfi=6
  2. hso

    hso Moderator Staff Member

    Gun content?
  3. P95loser

    P95loser Well-Known Member

    he was apprehended for allegedly stealing a bb gun and bbs...
  4. Henry Bowman

    Henry Bowman Senior Member

    Ouch! :what: Would they have acted differently if they had known that the witness was a **shudder** high profile attorney?

    In any event, petty thief or not, this look costly to Wally World.
  5. newfalguy101

    newfalguy101 Well-Known Member

    What an absolute waste. :(
  6. P95loser

    P95loser Well-Known Member

    I work at a retail store, and Loss Prevention in retail generally seems to be "itching" to "take someone down", they can be very brutal because apprehention situations are so few and far between. The security guards were probably ill-trained promoted cashiers who yearn to use their power...

    The going rate for innapropriately detained customers' lawsuits are like 20k per minute... maybe they should have let 20 bucks go out the door...
  7. CAS700850

    CAS700850 Well-Known Member

    I have seen far too many shoplifting and theft cases turn into "violent crimes" and Robbery cases (theft with use of force on a person) due to loss prevention officers who escalate a situation. This doesn't place all of the blame on them, the criminal is to blame as well. But why get into a fight with a guy over two packs of Orange County Chopper stickers (which I recently had to review for charges)?
  8. Cesiumsponge

    Cesiumsponge Well-Known Member

    ^^^Always the obligatory sympathy clause. The guy wasn't innocent. Granted this (death) isn't what usually happens to shoplifters, but I see the sympathy clause used waaaaay too often in would-be successful criminal stories gone awry that pop up on the news. You break the law or do something stupid and you risk your well being. Like the eggthrowing incident, most people won't react in an extreme manner, but there is a minority that'll go whoop your ass if you steal a stick of gum or toiletpaper up someone's tree.

    The security officers sprung in like a supercharged episode of COPS chasing down a murder suspect...but the guy died because he was laying down on hot asphalt? They say the suspect was a "heavy blonde man" but it doesn't indicate just how heavy he was.
  9. DelayedReaction

    DelayedReaction Well-Known Member

    Exactly how much force are these guys authorized to use? I was under the impression that they had exactly the same amount of legal authority as any other citizen, and that what was described was pretty much assault (and murder).
  10. SLCDave

    SLCDave Well-Known Member

    In my teenage years, I was the Loss Prevention guy for a retail clothing store. Basically, my job was to watch for suspicious activity, limit the amount of merchandise the person had in their hands (offer to hold items at the register), and make sure people came out of the fitting rooms with everything they went in with. Once they hit the door, I was told, in no uncertain terms, that my job was to be a good witness.

    These guys chased a guy down for $50 worth of merchandise, not knowing if his buddy was waiting in the car with a shotgun, or if the guy was armed himself. The stupidity in this action alone blows my mind. Walmart must be a heckuva place to work for if their employees are willing to risk life and limb to save $50 for the company.

    Add everything that happened after that, and you're liable to rattle something loose when shaking your head...
  11. Horsesense

    Horsesense Well-Known Member

    It sounds like security guys were a little ful of them and possibly need Criminal charges brought against them.

    As for Wal-Mart.. I can hear the Lawyer now
    “The poor guy was trying to get diapers for his baby, so her rash wont heart her so much, the BB-Gun was to keep the rats away from what presses little food the family had. Mr. worlds largest company, Wal-Mart! had this man executed by hired thugs because they couldn’t spare a few measly bucks for the family that has gone hungry every sense Wal-Mart drove their mom and pop store out of business.”
  12. MudPuppy

    MudPuppy Well-Known Member

    This version certainly indicates that.

    It's hard to say how violent he was when being detained. Crimminals (not saying anything specific in this case--just as a general rule) know there is a risk associated with their crime. Sometimes the penalty is higher than they think--but perhaps theys should think harder on the matter.

    I'm not saying someone deserves to die over stealing diapers--especially if excessive violence was used, but it seems too many crimes are committed because the perps are willing to risk it or unconcerned about doing time.
  13. KriegHund

    KriegHund Well-Known Member

    What a crappy way to go out!

    "Maybe hes high on something"

    In which case you REALLY even more so should get him up off the pavement becuase his hearts already going 200 beats a minute!
  14. scbair

    scbair Well-Known Member

    I've only worked security while moonlighting during my law enforcement days (typically at jewelry stores during the Christmas season), but I did respond to calls from stores, when security had a shoplifter in custody. As a cop, I did have to make arrests, often with no backup on the scene, of hostile, desperate folks. I'm not passing judgment on these loss control guys without more information.

    Does anyone doubt the "high-profile" attorney's vision might have been clouded slightly by all the $$$$ he kept seeing? Of course, he (and his law firm) should not be able to represent anyone, as he is a WITNESS if any wrongdoing occurred.

    Bottom line, ya can get hurt pretty badly by a "heavy" male shoplifter who doesn't feel like going to jail today. Even restraining someone without injuring them is not as easy as the cop shows would have you believe. The employees may have feared (with whatever justification) that if big guy got to his feet again, they'd be in trouble!

    Killed by the heat of the asphalt he was lying on? Maybe. Heart attack? Reaction to drugs? Other? Also maybe . . .

    The company sued? Beyond a shadow of a doubt!
  15. Vern Humphrey

    Vern Humphrey Well-Known Member

    Their mistake was that they weren't cops, and he wasn't holding a baby in his arms.

    Note how the shooting of a baby in a hostage situation was vigorously defended on these forums.
  16. jefnvk

    jefnvk Well-Known Member

    Not everyone is a medical doctor. I didn't know that lying on the hot ground for a few minuets could kill you.

    What suprises me, is the number of people that will say they will shoot someone stealing their property (because if you don't, you become a target next time, because they know you won't do anything), but when something like this happens, it is a complete different story.
  17. Cesiumsponge

    Cesiumsponge Well-Known Member

    I wouldn't believe that for a second. I don't sympathize with either party at all. The most commonly stolen items are mundane things like Tylenol, Advil, pregnancy tests, razors, film, batteries, Perparation H, etc. You could turn any of these objects into a poor sap sympathy story.

    "The dad stole razors so he could look presentable for his job while the Advil was for his wife who was suffering from headaches which were caused by the pregnancy that was discovered by the pregnancy test. Film and batteries were for a camera so they could capture this Kodak moment. But Walmart has to be a giant cold corporation and execute this poor, poor innocent man."


    We have next to no details on this man and some people are already inventing fanciful stories about how his theft was justified. His death was wrong in such a minor infraction but in a world where minor crimes can incur grave consequences by extremists, I would be very weary of breaking any laws. Throw an egg at a car, someone might shoot you. Steal some Huggies, you get tackled to death. It's not the norm but is it really worth the risk?

    Its equally likely he bought the BB gun and BBs to use on his dog to teach it not to poop in the house and he stole diapers because he was too embarassed to purchase at the counter and wanted to wear them himself since he had a baby fetish.

    As mentioned, restraining someone isn't as easy as it might appear in Hollywood. Someone who has it in their head to struggle and fight back can indeed do great damage. Just is the case where people in general view it as unfair and one-upmanship to pull a gun in self-defense to defend yourself from someone with a knife. The guy might have carried a firearm. There have been cases where officers wrestling with suspects have been shot by their own firearms or the suspect's own weapon. Likewise, the security acted in a very in a very aggressive manner and by the bias or reporting of the story, took the guy down hard and kept him immobile until authorities arrived. There is a HUGE host of unknowns here. We've learned that many, if not most newspaper articles are heavily biased towards one side or another and facts are often fudged with or neglected to give a certain opinion after reading said article.

    The truth probably comprises of one from column A, and one from column B
  18. rabbit

    rabbit member

    I am glad I was not in this group when they were defending the baby shooting. I remember reading the LA police comments on that and it made me sick to my stomach. Anybody who thinks that was a "good shoot" has something wrong with them.
  19. Vern Humphrey

    Vern Humphrey Well-Known Member

    Both these are not "good shoots." In this case, while the employees were wrong, and Wal Mart will pay, you can make a case that death is not an easily forseen consequence of wrestling a man to the ground and holding him there until the police arrive.

    We should also remember that the witness is a lawyer. :barf:
  20. Joejojoba111

    Joejojoba111 Well-Known Member

    As for the dead baby thread, it was enlightening to say the least.

    As for lieing on hot pavement, I don't think you have to be a doctor to know it's bad for you.

    As for security guards killing people, it happens all the time. Usually they are killed through suffocation.

    "It's hard to say how violent he was when being detained. Crimminals (not saying anything specific in this case--just as a general rule) know there is a risk associated with their crime. Sometimes the penalty is higher than they think--but perhaps theys should think harder on the matter."

    I think that arming citizens honestly does make criminals think twice. They don't car-jack police cruisers, because they're armed.

    As for the 'Well the penalty is a $500 fine, but you caught us on a bad day, so you're gonna die." concept, I'm pretty sure that's how the justice system in North Korea works. Add a goodly element of corruption and bribery and Ta-Da you have the 'justice system' of the worst regimes on Earth.

    Is that really where we want to be going? You know what, I'm afraid how many people will answer yes...

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