After it was reported that Arizona resident Joe Cantrell was banned from Walmart for attempting to match prices on a Christmas tree he was buying, the same police department that escorted Cantrell out of the building are giving its side of the story.
According to the Pinal County Sheriff’s Office, local ABC news affiliate KNXV jumped the gun in reporting the story and only provided Cantrell’s perspective, without obtaining any police reports. In a statement released by Sheriff Paul Babeu, he said, “ABC15 failed to provide their viewers accurate information but rather created a sensational story in an effort to boost their ratings. Every employer, including Walmart, has the right and obligation to protect its employees and trespass customers who are disorderly and clearly threaten the safety of their employees.”
The report released by the sheriff’s office told the story of a much different Cantrell, one of a man who was indeed making physical threats and later boasted about it on social media.
The report, as released by the PCSO, reads as follows:
Cantrell was heard threatening employees with statements “I’m going to mess this mother f_ _ _ker up” while yelling at a cashier, he told employees he didn’t care if he got kicked out of the store because he “was going to f_ _ k up, the cashier and he would be waiting outside for him in the parking lot and he was going to do him in.”
The Sheriff’s Office was called by Walmart, but Cantrell had left the store before deputies arrived. Before leaving, he told the manager “I’m not the person to F _ _ k with, next time I come in I will beat his ass.” A deputy investigated the case as employees were afraid for their safety. A video was captured by store security and PCSO deputies recognized Cantrell from prior contacts. Deputies were unable to locate him at his last known address…
Cantrell posted on his “Facebook” account (December 2nd, 2013) “Tonight I almost whipped a Walmart employees ass.” One of his Facebook friends responded to his post and said, “I know you heard Joes gonna kill you in the back of your head. But you did the right thing by walking away mad and not kicking his ass and doing to jail.” (sic.) Cantrell then responded back to that post by saying, “I have to be honest with you Richard I came very close.”