ATLANTA — A 12-year-old girl is banned from a North Fulton County Walmart over a sucker.
Channel 2 Consumer Investigator Justin Gray learned the store called the police because she ate the candy before she paid for it.
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Now, her father is warning other parents.
“It was a Dum Dum… the kind the Walmart greeters usually give out to kids that come in the store,” said Jamie Hurley, the girl’s father.
He said that is the type of lollipop that led to his daughter receiving a criminal trespass warning. Milton Police gave it to her on March 3.
“I am not allowed to enter the land or premise of Walmart ever,” said Hurley reading from the warning.
The father said his daughter opened a bag of suckers, took one out and ate it without paying while alone in the store while he picked up her younger sister.
Hurley said when he returned, he offered to pay for the candy. But a police report Channel 2 Action News obtained says “Walmart declined the money and also declined to press charges for theft.”
“And they ended up giving her a citation of trespass and told her that if she ever came back that she would actually be arrested,” said Hurley.
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He said this is the first time his daughter ever got into trouble like this.
“We went through, obviously, what was wrong about stealing,” said Hurley.
But he feels the punishment does not fit the crime.
“I just thought it was completely unfair that they’re handling this with, with a 12-year-old kid eating a piece of candy,” said Hurley.
He said he emailed Walmart and got a reply that said, “I have forwarded this to the appropriate management team for the Alpharetta, GA store for assistance.”
When he didn’t hear back, he returned to the store.
“And I actually went in yesterday to talk, and they just refused. They said it’s an ongoing investigation,” said Hurley.
Channel 2 Action News contacted Walmart. A spokesperson sent us this statement:
“Mr. Hurley was trespassed from our store after becoming verbally abusive toward associates and disrupting business. Mr. Hurley signed the notice. There was no intent to trespass Mr. Hurley’s daughter, and we will work with police to correct the matter.”
But that doesn’t match up with the citation. The girl’s name and signature are on the ticket.
Hurley has this advice for other parents, “Watch your kids in Walmart.”
Channel 2 Action News checked with Milton Police to see if the officer had any discretion in this situation.
They told us the department must issue a criminal trespass warning at the request of a private business or homeowner.
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