WAUKEGAN, Ill. (CBS) – A north suburban man is suing a local Walmart store, claiming he was the victim of a beating while he was shopping, and store security did nothing to stop the attack.
The suit alleges Jeremiah Rogers and his girlfriend – both African Americans – were at the Walmart in Waukegan in January, when two unidentified men–one who was white or Hispanic and the other black–began harassing them.
David Lowery Jr., founder and CEO of the Living & Driving While Black Foundation, said security guards escorted the men out, but at least one of them came back and accosted the couple again, using a racial slur.
Rogers was hit in the face with a wine bottle, then of of the men pulled out a gun, “and started to chase him around the store,” Lowery said.
“Meanwhile, Walmart security and management ran into their office, and locked the door, and left them out in the store, running, trying to save their lives,” he added.
However, Walmart claimed a store security guard intervened right away.
“Unfortunately, sometimes individual customers act inappropriately. When that happens and it turns violent, we involve police, who are trained to manage such situations. In this instance, an off-duty police officer was working security for us at the time and he responded immediately,” Walmart spokesman Dan Fogleman said in an email. “Our security cameras captured the incident and we have provided the video to police to help identify, and hopefully convict, those responsible for Mr. Rogers’ injuries.”
Rogers’ nose was broken, and he lost several teeth, according to Lowery.
The assailants ran away. The lawsuit claims Walmart failed in its obligation to provide a safe environment for its customers.