Walmart Employee Filmed 12-Year-Old Boy in Bathroom of Springfield Store, Police Say

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FILE – In this June 5, 2017, file photo, a worker stacks merchandise outside a Walmart in Salem, N.H. Walmart is boosting its starting salary for U.S. workers to $11 an hour, giving a one-time $1,000 cash bonus to eligible employees and expanding its maternity and parental leave benefits. The retailer said Thursday, Jan. 11, […]

Police say the assistant manager of a Springfield Walmart used his cell phone to surreptitiously film a 12-year-old boy in the store’s bathroom.

According to court documents, the boy was at the Walmart Neighborhood Market with his mother at 3536 W. Mt. Vernon St. on the afternoon of Jan. 18 when an assistant store manager followed him into the bathroom.

Court documents say the boy told police he went into a stall, locked the door, unzipped his pants and looked up.

A phone was held over the stall, the boy allegedly said, and its camera lens was pointed at him. 

Court documents say the man who followed him into the restroom was described by the boy as “chubby,” having blonde hair, and wearing a green vest, glasses and an earpiece.

A police officer reviewed security footage, court documents say, which backed up what the boy had said.

According to court documents, an asset protection representative at the Walmart immediately identified the man as an assistant manager of the store.

The manager in question agreed to an interview with police and initially said he thought the boy had concealed merchandise, like a candy bar, court documents say.

But when the boy entered the bathroom stall, the manager allegedly said he became “curious.”

When pressed to explain his curiosity, the manager said he was curious for sexual reasons, court documents say, and that this curiosity was something new for him.

According to court documents, the manager claimed he was only taking the video to “look and watch” and that he thought the 12-year-old boy was actually 16 to 18 years old.

The incident is described in an application for a search warrant. The search warrant was used to obtain access to the manager’s phone and potentially review what he might have filmed.

As of Friday morning, the manager has not been charged with a crime in connection to the incident, according to online court records.

A Walmart spokesman said the assistant manager no longer works for Walmart.

(Read the original story on the Springfield News-Leader’s website)

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