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Sheriff's Office

ABC15 Falsely Reports Walmart “Trespass for Life” story
Posted: 12/12/2013 12:00 AM
A local news story went national this week when Phoenix TV station ABC15 reported that Joe Cantrell (age 34 of San Tan Valley) was “trespassed for life from Walmart” because according to Cantrell and ABC15 he was trying to “ad match.”

Every responsible news station in Phoenix waited to get a copy of the investigative report from the Sheriff's Office, yet ABC15 news felt it was in the public’s best interest to tell only the side of the story provided by Cantrell. After the story aired on ABC15 it quickly grew to a national story, furthering the inaccuracies and portraying Walmart as the bad guy in their story.

Cantrell came into the San Tan Valley Walmart on December 2nd, 2013 at 7:09 p.m. Cantrell has created disturbances on other occasions in this same Walmart. This time, Cantrell was demanding an ad match which the Walmart cashier explained to him they didn’t perform ad match on “Black Friday” because of the numerous ads.

Cantrell once again caused a disturbance, but this time while standing in the checkout line he escalated the situation by yelling and threatening to cause physical harm to Walmart employees. This disturbance was witnessed by store employees, store managers and customers. In fact, a female customer who was standing in line was so alarmed by Cantrell's behavior; she had to leave the store to calm her child who was visibly frightened.

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.

On December 5th, 2013 Cantrell returned once again to the same Walmart. Employees recognized him and called PCSO for help. Cantrell was detained by deputies and then cited and released for one count of Disorderly Conduct and one count of Threatening and Intimidating. Earlier this week, the Pinal County Courts issued an injunction against harassment ordering Cantrell to have no further contact with one of the employees involved in this incident; otherwise he shall face arrest and further prosecution.

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 going to jail.” (sic.) Cantrell then responded back to that post by saying, “I have to be honest with you Richard I came very close.”

Sheriff Paul Babeu stated, “I want to thank the responsible members of the media who waited to get the facts before rushing to be first to report. 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."
Public Information Officer

Tim Gaffney

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