Security Guard Fails to Prevent Grocery Store Assault

Joseph O'Neill

Written by
— Updated on December 18, 2017

Retail Expert WitnessThis case involves a customer in the grocery department at a big box store who was attacked by a severely dunk woman. At the time of the incident in question, the man was shopping for groceries when he was accosted by the woman, who smelled of alcohol and demanded money from the man. The man refused, and attempted to continue shopping, however the woman became increasingly agitated and followed him around the store. Eventually, the woman assaulted the man with a pair of scissors, causing serious injuries. A security guard was present at the time of the assault, but failed to intervene.

Question(s) For Expert Witness

  • 1. Please discuss your experience as a security guard, specifically in retail settings.
  • 2. What security measures could have been put in place to avoid the incident?

Expert Witness Response E-116581

The response will depend on the state where the incident occurred. Most uniformed security companies have an “Observed and Report” policy, in addition to a “No physical contact” policy. More information is required to ascertain the scope of services provided by the security company to the retail store. What is the store policy regarding responding to transients, or people who appear to be homeless, or mentally unstable? Was the attacker previously known to store personnel? If so, was the attacker asked to leave the store on a previous occasion? If the attacker refused to leave the store was the police notified, and was there a trespass warning issued? Depending on the location of the store, there may be several measures that could mitigate the incident, without adversely disrupting the sales floor environment.

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