Quesnel RCMP are investigating the actions of a security guard who detained a woman outside a mall, and thefts that led up to the incident. The altercation was caught on video and has sparked strong reaction online since it was shared last week.
Police sent out a news release Wednesday, Nov. 4, stating police are investigating multiple thefts and fraudulent purchases that occurred Oct. 29 in Quesnel, and the detention of the suspect by the security guard is included in that investigation.
According to police, a woman entered G.R. Baker Memorial Hospital Oct. 29 and stole a worker’s jacket, purse and wallet. Investigators said she then went to business and stole another worker’s credit cards from her wallet.
“The woman attended four businesses in Quesnel and made numerous fraudulent purchases using the credit cards belonging to both victims,” police said in the release.
While the woman was making bogus purchases at a business in the West Park Mall, an employee became suspicious and called security. When the guard identified himself and tried to detain the woman, she attempted to run out of the mall.
The security guard grabbed the woman as she exited the door, and a struggle ensued, captured on video. The guard held her on the ground until the police arrived.
“The police are investigating the actions of the security guard during the detention of the woman, as well as the criminal activity leading up to the incident,” Quesnel RCMP Sgt. Richard Weseen said in the release. “The officers are gathering witness statements, surveillance video, cell phone video and other evidence to ensure all investigational avenues are exhausted.”
The police are asking the person who took the video, as well as the male citizen that tried to intervene during the event, to contact the RCMP.
Anyone who witnessed this incident on Oct. 29 and has information pertinent to the investigation is encouraged to call the Quesnel RCMP at 250-992-9211.
Twyla Short was one of the first people on the scene on Oct. 29, drawn outside of the store by the sound of a woman’s screams.
“… he has his knee on her spine and her back, and her little arm up, and she’s naked. By then, her coat was off, her shirt and bra were up around her neck. All I saw was hair, a bare back, him on her.”
Short said she told the guard to “Get off of her,” but was told to leave, in offensive language.
According to Short, other people called for calm, but the guard did not relax his position on the woman, telling onlookers the woman had stolen something.
“A man, he just came up beside me, and said ‘get … off her now,’ and he released her,” Short said.
When Quesnel RCMP arrived on the scene, they detained the woman but ended up releasing her without charges.
Short said she went to the police station, demanding to give a statement.
Mall management has not returned calls from The Observer.