Police Hunt Suspect in Another Target Incident

target-logoCommentary by Susan Brinkmann, OCDS

A woman trying on clothes in a Target dressing room in The Woodlands, Texas caught a man trying to videotape her with his cell phone. Meanwhile, Target staff stood by and did nothing to help her.

ABC13.com is reporting on the incident which was recorded on surveillance cameras in the store. The woman, who wishes to be known only as “Leslie,” said she caught a reflection of the camera in the mirror as she was beginning to undress.

“I was just thinking I have to do something and I have to stop it,” she said.

She buttoned up her blouse and ran out to stop the man, who was tall and had a child in a stroller. Surveillance video shows the man pushing her out of the way as he then fled the scene.

An eyewitness named Russell Sevier, who was the only person to assist the woman, said customers suddenly heard someone yelling, “This man is crazy. Lock the door!”

“Nobody was doing anything so I ran all the way down to the end of the building,” he said.

Surveillance cameras caught the whole scene, including the man fleeing out of the store and managed to snap a clear image of him that the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office is now using to find the man.

As for Leslie, the scene is now playing over and over in her head in the days since the incident.

“I feel really scared right now,” she said, but wants to speak out because she feels it’s important for women to hear her story.

“My main goal is not to catch him, is to (help him) receive the help that he needs and protect maybe this kid (that was with him),” she said.

Target released a statement in the wake of the incident.

“We want all of our guests to have a safe and welcoming experience whenever they shop at our stores. We will not tolerate this behavior and we are working closely with law enforcement by offering whatever support is needed. Since this is an active investigation, we ask that you direct all further questions to law enforcement.”

Shoppers can hardly feel comforted by this tough talk, especially when it’s never backed by any efforts to put a stop to the struggling retailer’s dangerous policy of allowing men and women to use the same private facilities.

As a result of this latest incident, the American Family Association (AFA), is asking people to sign on to a letter demanding action from Target.

The AFA has been a leader in the push for safety at Target stores and has organized one of the most successful boycotts in its history against the retailer with more than 1.5 million people pledging to stop shopping there.

In the letter to Target CEO Brian Cornell, they point out that store security cameras clearly show Target employees in the area doing nothing to stop the Peeping Tom even after the woman began screaming for help and are demanding to know if their employees have been instructed not to intervene in such incidents.

“This past sexual incident in your The Woodlands, Texas, store is just one more example of how your company’s disregard for the safety and well-being of women and children has scarred another life,” the letter reads. “After this last attack, you said you ‘want all of our guests to have a safe and welcoming experience whenever they shop at our stores.’ Does that also include sexual predators?”

Signers of the letter promise to “boycott your stores until Target agrees that protecting the safety and privacy of women and children is of paramount concern. To demonstrate that commitment, I ask that you publicly reverse your current bathroom and fitting room policy.”

Thus far, more than 31,000 people have already signed on. Click here to add your signature!

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