A man from Hudson, Fla., has filed a federal lawsuit against the Deputy Commissioner of Hernando County, a Walmart loss prevention officer, and Walmart itself, alleging he was wrongfully arrested after mistaking him for another Asian. .
arrest involved trending videooccurred at walmart supercenter On Spri’s commercial wayng Hill on November 27, 2022.
The incident reportedly began when a Walmart loss prevention officer called 911 to report an “Asian man” who allegedly trespassed the store.
An employee called the Hernando County Sheriff’s Office identifying the man as “Cody Vondelinde,” and said: “There is an Asian man in the store right now. His name is Cody Vonderinde. He trespassed from this store. He is not allowed here and tends to be violent and armed. There is also.”
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Shortly after, the Hudson County lieutenant arrived and arrested Tony Nguyen, who was shopping with his girlfriend Lauren Caldwell.
Caldwell filmed the lieutenant handcuffing the boyfriend, dragging him out of the store and putting him in a police car.
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“Why are you pulling me? I’m walking with you,” Nguyen says in protest.
According to the complaint, Nguyen was put in jail, and it was only then that officers finally asked for his ID.
“We were able to confirm your identity at the detention center. You are not the person he was looking for,” the deputy reportedly told Nguyen. “You’re not trespassing, so I’ll take you home. And I personally apologize. Sometimes identities get mixed up.”
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But Nguyen said he was not released immediately. As the police were returning home, the sheriff handcuffed him, stopped him, and took a picture to “verify” his identity again.
Nguyen remembered an incident in a fundraising campaign go fund me:
I thought it was strange and illegal to be handcuffed while sitting on the curb for 30-40 minutes after I said I would take him home. He then opens my door and says “I have to take a picture of you to confirm it’s you”. He took a picture of my face, lifted my shirt and let me take a picture of the tattoo on the side of the dark road. This was all filmed on his iPhone.
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Nguyen said the sheriff later called and told him again that he was not the person they were looking for.timebut, Nguyen’s Shocked, he was returned to prison for allegedly violating a 2013 trespassing offence.
The Hernando County Sheriff’s Office said, “The trespassing warning issued at Walmart remained in effect because it was never revoked by authorities.” WFTS in January. “Thus, probable cause existed for the arrest of Tony Nguyen for trespassing in question. He was dealt with and charged accordingly.”
Nguyen was trespassed at the same Walmart in 2013 for acting “crazy” after a dental procedure. incontrovertibleHowever, the trespass is said to have lasted for about a year, and he has continued shopping without problems since then.
Nguyen’s charges were later dropped. It is unknown how long he was in custody.
Nguyen and his attorneys are currently suing Hernando County Deputy Commissioner, Walmart Loss Prevention Officer, Walmart for $10 million.
WTSP The agent identified Michael McNeely and the Walmart employee as David Pettigrew.
“This is a case all Asians are alike. What do you think Deputy Secretary McNeely did when he showed up? He didn’t identify Tony, according to WFTS.” Nguyen’s attorney said.
Nguyen said he fears the incident will lead to him being arrested again for no reason. Now all his cars are equipped with his driving recorders and his mobile phone is ready to record at any time.
The Hernando County Sheriff’s Office said it would not comment on the pending lawsuit, WTSP said. Walmart has vowed to “do the right thing in court if we receive service.”