Woman, 70, repeatedly punched by teenage Walmart employee
MOUNT PLEASANT, Wis. (WDJT) - A 70-year-old woman says she was repeatedly punched in the face by a Walmart employee after the two had a verbal argument. She says no one tried to help her and is now encouraging anyone who witnesses a similar incident to step in.
Police responded to a Walmart location in Mount Pleasant, Wisconsin, around 7:00 p.m. July 7 for reports of a 70-year-old woman who was punched multiple times in the head by a 17-year-old cashier.
The victim, P.K. Shader, sustained injuries to the head and face but did not require immediate medical attention. She says this kind of behavior from employees is unacceptable.
“It has been quite a journey. Why anyone would do that? I don’t know. And why no one helped is even more, especially in a Walmart store,” Shader said.
Both the employee, identified as Jazareia Velasquez, and Shader indicated the incident arose over a verbal argument. According to the criminal complaint, Shader asked to speak to a manager after having a negative interaction with Velasquez. She also attempted to take a picture of the employee to report her.
“She went crazy. She flew, and she punched me, fist right here [in the face] over and over again,” Shader said. “I’m never walking into Walmart again, that’s for sure.”
Velasquez was arrested and later charged with aggravated battery to an elderly person and disorderly conduct.
Shader says what took her by surprise the most was that no one stepped in to help her during the incident, even though employees apparently knew of Velasquez’s temperament.
“What if it was your grandmother? What if it was your mother?... The managers knew she was a loose cannon. The first manager said nothing. The second one told me so. So, why did they keep an employee like that? That’s a bigger problem than not having security,” Shader said.
As she recovers, Shader wants people to know that if they ever see an incident like this to step in and help in whatever way you can.
“I just want to tell people: ‘Pull out your phone. Give somebody a break.’ No one’s asking you to dive in and be hurt, but pull out your phone and document it and yell, ‘Call the police,’” she said.
Shader plans on filing a restraining order against Velasquez. She and her attorney are exploring other options to send a message and make sure this never happens to anyone else.
Walmart released the following statement on the incident: “We want all of our customers to have a pleasant shopping experience in our stores. The associate involved has been suspended, and we continue to assist law enforcement in the ongoing investigation.”
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