A serial shoplifter at a Georgian Wal-mart, who died under suspicious circumstances early Sunday morning, has now been identified as Vidal Cornelius Calloway (CBS Atlanta 5 KPHO). The other parties involved in an unusual row in the parking lot of a Lithonia, Georgia Wal-mart, just an hour and a half into November 25th, have also been identified. We have a manager, Michael Burton, an WM associate, Phille Roberts, and a hired security guard, Javiere Pruitt, who’s been terminated now by Wal-Mart.
I tried to picture in my mind how this went down. I suspect that the store wasn’t too terribly crowded at 1:30 AM Sunday. Let’s see, Vidal Calloway grabs a couple of Blu ray DVD players, then races for the exit, attempting to achieve clear light in what looks like a minor cache of merchandise in hand. What was going through Calloway’s mind at that moment? Was he on any drugs? Did he really think he’d get away with it? Vidal’s been arrested 16 times before since 1996, mostly for petty crimes.
Michael Burton must have seen Vidal scrambling out the exit with the two DVD players. He surely chased the serial shoplifter out the door and possibly tackled him to the ground. Well, according to the police report, Burton: “grabbed him by the hoodie and slammed him down to the ground.” Apparently, according to Burton, Calloway was punching him back, on the face, neck, and chest. Well, how unusual is that? Maybe, he wanted to get away!
I’m getting a little fuzzy as the account is more fully elaborated by Michael Burton, as I suppose, he was fleshing it out for the Dekalb police. I suspect others, maybe even you, are not quite clear what’s being said here, or even sure this is exactly the way it went down. Naturally enough, we wonder whether this security guard, when getting Calloway in a choke hold, didn’t squeeze the life out of him. I think he did, since Vidal expired from his injuries. The officer arriving on the scene noticed the suspect was bleeding from his nose and was motionless (perhaps he was already dead).
Moreover, we hear the trio was on top of him when the officer arrived at 5401 Fairington Road in Lithonia (a suburb of Atlanta in Dekalb County, with a population of 11, 924). Well, I can’t figure this part out. All three WM employees on top of him? And to kill this man, Javierre Pruitt couldn’t have been choking him softly or mildly. We’ll need to get the autopsy report back (of course), but at this point, it looks as if Pruitt choked Galloway to death! That’s murder, or at least manslaughter, in my book. And he had two willing accomplices.
Well, as usual, Wal-Mart has got themselves in a hell of a bind! You’ll probably have to agree. You can read over the WM spokeswoman, Dianna Gee’s statement, but I’ll not replicate it here. It’s the usual BS about how this is not the Real Wal-Mart; the retail giant is not ugly like this, their employees are trained to avoid dangerous situations such as this. In reading between the lines, Gee is saying they’re not trained to take justice in their own hands (street vigilantism, you might say).
Yea, it happens again for the retail leviathan. Why did Calloway target WM on another of his serial shoplifting hell walks? This is what’s going through my mind for some unknown reason. Had he heard about the wage worker protests across the nation, and felt indignation towards the ruthless retail monster? We’ll never know. This time it gets much harder to sweep the dust under the rug. There’s a red color in the dust this time, but it’s not Santa Claus red.