Could Have Been A False Arrest

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Well-known member
Feb 9, 2008
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No, not me. My 80-year-old brother and I were reminiscing yesterday about the time he was detained for shoplifting. He was working for a company in downtown St. Paul that required that male employees wear strict business attire, either a suit or dark blazer and slacks with a dress shirt and tie.

He went to work wearing a new blazer that he'd had tailored so the single vent in the back was stitched not to fly open. At lunch, he went window shopping in one of the downtown department stores and as he was about to leave, a store detective grabbed him and told him that he was taking him to a room to be searched. My brother immediately asked to see the guy's credentials, but the guy pulled out a gun. At that point my brother told the guy to call the police and asked others near him to please call the police. It apparently wasn't long before the police and a store executive appeared on the scene.

My brother asked what was going on. The store dick said he'd caught him walking out wearing a stolen blazer. My brother unbuttoned the blazer, which bore the house brand of a competing department store, then asked the attending policeman to remove the piece of paper from the blazer's inner chest pocket which had the alteration ticket stapled to the sales receipt.

The store executive immediately apologized for the "inconvenience" at which my brother said, "Your employee unlawfully detained me, and committed both an assault and battery when he grabbed me and pulled a gun. I'll see you both in civil and criminal court. You are an accessory to both charges along with your employee." At that point the store executive said, "Can't we work this out without going to court?" My brother then asked the police officer to call in his superior as a witness to any negotiation.

My brother never told me the size of the store merchandise credit he received, but he was damn well dressed for several years afterward. I said he should have gone to court for a cash settlement; that I'm certain that the store had a hefty insurance policy to cover these matters.
"And what if you'd punched the store dick when he grabbed you and he'd pulled his gun and shot you?"