This brings a whole new meaning to “eye witness news”. Century 21, the mega outlet store where tourists flock to the moment they arrive in New York City lent itself to a different kind of shopping experience today. I frequent the near Ground Zero store location at least every other month to check out the designer shoe section. Today was particularly different. I was in the right place but at the wrong time. I witnessed what would be the roughest and most inhumane shoplifting arrest I have ever seen.
While browsing the shoe racks, I overheard a woman screaming and rumblings occurring at the same time at the aisle adjacent to where I was standing. At first I thought the wall of shoes might have fallen on the woman. Without hesitation, I dropped the shoe I was observing to run to her aide. I was shocked by what was happening right before my eyes. An African American woman was being seriously manhandled on the floor by 3-4 burly men who were busy tying her down with a cable wire while she screamed out loud that she’s pregnant! One of the men shouted back, “Oh yeah! Are you now shopping for baby clothes?” The other guys roughly grabbed her from the floor where she had fallen to bring her up to her feet. I could have sworn it was a scene out of a movie.
When she stood up, low and behold, the woman was indeed HEAVILY pregnant! They claimed she had stolen something. But how on earth could that be if she was still in the store?! I even overheard 4 of the store’s sales representative gossiping this fact shortly after the poor woman was hauled off by the security guards as if she had been caught in a multimillion dollar jewelry heist. The sales reps went on to say that the store might be hit with a lawsuit by the women if she never in fact took anything, especially not while still within the store!
I took pictures of the whole scene after I realized I was the only one in close proximity watching the showdown before others showed up. I wish I had set my camera to video because what I saw is really had to describe.
I hope for the love of God the baby is alright and that Century 21 does what’s right by the woman. She was clearly heavily pregnant and in no way shape or form should have been manhandled that way, not even for a $1 million worth of stolen goods.