Thank you for the great forum, found it browsing for some answers. Here are the questions and I 'll try to be brief
I attempted to return a defective item to a big retail store. The store was going out of business and that negatively contributed to my situation as employees of the store were clearly disgruntled. While talking to people at the register I was told that the store changed the policies since I bought the item and I would not be able to return/exchange/get store credit.
Some guy (apparently one of employees) grabs my item walks in a direction of the exit. As I realized the situation is going out control, I started recording video to have some evidence. I asked the guy who he is, what he wants, etc. He refuses to say who he is and walks away. I return to the register.
The guy returns with the phone in his hand and makes sudden moves with his palm into my face with his hand, while I hear him saying “security is coming?” Then he says “the guy touched me twice” , or “PD is coming , nice” . He attempts to provoke me into physical confrontation, I step back and warn him to stay at distance. My call to wait for security.
Security arrives, I stay away from that guy. I answer security questions, explain what happened. I present my receipt, etc.
I see police arriving to the scene. Standing in a distance, while I talk to security. Then, I am blocked by the security, while I hear another security guard telling police something “I do not know if you will charge him, we will press Trespass charges.
Police officer comes to me, he says “They want to trespass you”, I need an ID from you, I give him an ID. When He asked where my car is and I say if I could walk in that direction, he ignores that and insists I walk in the opposite direction. As far as I understood, I was detained by the police officer so private property would issue a trespass notice.
Police officer gives my ID to security Guard, she fills the trespass notice on the police blank. At the same time police officer asks if I have a contact phone number, which I provided, then he shares my phone number with the security guard, even though I express concern about that.
The trespass notice is filled, I was asked to sign and when I said I would like to read it first, that request was declined. I said, I would sign it when I am in my car ( my family was there) . I was told “OK” escorted to my car, the notice already had “refused” in the signature section.
The notice says: “Improper Conduct, refusing to leave the store, arguing.”
I also discovered that one of the security guards, was former police officer and he leads the security in that mall.
That is basically the whole story. There are more facts and details, but to get unbiased opinion, it makes sense not to mention that. I would be glad to provide more details if that helps .
I think it is relevant to mention, I was upset and not aggressive and initially decided to wait for security arrival as the best logical step toward the conflict resolution.
Here are my questions to the police:
1. Why would it be necessary to have police present to issue a trespass notice, while a private property can do so? What would require 4 police officers to arrive at the scene?
2. Per later conversation with police sergeant, my detention by security guards, was “like citizen arrest”. By the law of my state, the citizen arrest is legal when someone witnesses a serious crime, etc. Should police investigate the reason of “citizen arrest” or continue detention not based on any evidence?
3. What law, allows police officers to share someone’s PII, personal identifiable information, with a third party (security guards) without PII owner consent?
4. This is more ethical question, but several times when I attempted to have conversation with city officials, I was told “but you did not get arrested”, implying I should feel very lucky. Any comments on that?
I appreciate any comments on that and would be glad to get any opinion.