Joe Cantrell went to Walmart as he often does hoping to save a few bucks by getting the store to match a competitor’s lowest advertised price on an identical product, as the company promises on its website to do.
But Cantrell, who visits Walmart twice a day, says a Walmart employee tried to tell him that it wasn't allowed.
"When I left, he turned around and called the Pinal County Sheriff's Office and said he felt intimidated and threatened. I was upset but never once did I say anything to the gentleman," Cantrell said. When he returned to the store, he was handcuffed by three deputies, handed a court summons and given a notice banning him Walmart for life.
"I was handcuffed, humiliated and embarrassed in front of everybody at Walmart," Cantrell said. "I felt shamed. I felt like I was the bad guy. And I know I'm not a bad guy."
When the deputies realized what the complaint was about, they let Cantrell go. "They saw a grown man cry like a baby," he said. "Probably because I knew I would be able to go home to my family and finish that Christmas tree."
Walmart released the following statement about the situation:
"We make every effort to make sure our customers have a good experience in our stores. As in previous situations, we attempted to work with this customer. However, in this situation, the associate felt unsafe and so we contacted local law enforcement. We are continuing to cooperate with law enforcement on their investigation."
Cantrell is facing charges of threatening, intimidation and disorderly conduct. Those charges are bad, but being banned from the store might be worse. "I just love Walmart and that's why I go.”
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