An Edmonton man is recovering from scrapes and bruises he claims are the result of his interaction with West Edmonton Mall security.
“I don’t usually get bruises,” Xiaobo Wu told Global News from his home on Monday.
“Saturday morning, I woke up. I was aching – the whole body,” he explained.
On Friday, Wu was attempting to rectify a billing situation with Zara, a clothing store. He said there was a double charge for $79.59 on his credit card.
Wu said he came back to the store a second time after dealing with customer service on the phone and being provided with a case number.
But, he claims staff told him to come back Monday. After waiting some more, he was taken to a back area of the store with mall security showing up shortly after.
“I said, ‘I will leave when I get a refund,'” Wu said. “And then after that, a moment later, they began to grab my arms.”
Wu said he was escorted from the store by four security staff and directed to an outside mall entrance when things became more physical and he was pushed to the ground, leading to scrapes and bruising.
“I said I was going to go – there’s no need. I couldn’t breathe,” he said.
“He was visibly distraught,” said Adam Green, another customer in the store at the time.
There were several customers in the store who witnessed Wu become frustrated with staff. Green observed that Wu looked “defeated.” A short while later, he saw security escorting Wu out the store.
“They kept yelling, ‘Stop resisting! Stop resisting! Stop resisting!'” Green explained. “The gentleman said, ‘Hey, I’m not resisting. I can move on my own weight. You don’t have to pull me around.'”
Wu claims that once outside, mall security put him in a vehicle and he was taken to a holding area in the mall where he alleges security took his phone and wallet.
A short time later, police arrived. Wu says he was given his personal effects and told he could go home.
“The mall people said, ‘You are banned to come back to the mall for 24 hours.'”
West Edmonton Mall did not agree to an interview request but issued a brief statement.
“As a matter of policy, West Edmonton Mall does not comment on incidents under investigation,” said Nick Culo, the mall’s vice president of marketing.
“I don’t want to see this… happen in the future,” Wu said.
Wu said he will file a police complaint, hoping to get more answers.
“I was lost, I did not expect this.”