Video of Store Manager Fighting Alleged Shoplifter Sparks Protest
CHARLOTTE, NC – The manager of Missha Beauty on Wilkinson Boulevard tells WCCB Charlotte he wants to apologize after this video went viral – showing a fight between him and an alleged shoplifter last Thursday.
Sung Ho Lim is seen pulling the unidentified woman to the ground, appearing to put her in a choke hold.
“For him to wrassle her and almost choke her breathlessly.. that wasn’t right,” says West Charlotte resident Teresa Mosely.
Mosely was one of those who protested outside the store Sunday. She’s a long time customer who says she was upset by what she saw.
“I’ll never patronize him anymore,” she says.
The nearly three minute video also shows the two, along with another woman, tussling and hitting each other.
At one point Sung delivers a swift kick.
But he tells WCCB Charlotte the video doesn’t tell the entire story.
Sung says before the video starts, the woman set off an alarm when she tried to steal a bag.
He claims she hit him first and nearly broke his glasses, leading to the confrontation.
He says after the video ends she ran off through a back door.
“It’s a balancing test. You want to be able to protect your property, but you don’t want to be in a situation where unnecessarily you get into an altercation with somebody,” explains Charlotte attorney Adam Seifer, of SeiferFlatow, PLLC.
Seifer says while a shop owner has the right to detain an alleged shoplifter, police will have to look at all of the evidence to see if he went too far.
“We value lives typically over property in our society and so even if you see somebody pick something up and walk out of the store, the better protocol is probably get law enforcement involved and see if they get in a car and get the license plate, those types of thing,” Seifer says.