If it sounds like the viral story of a Pinal County man getting a lifetime ban from Walmart for price-matching is too good to be true, the Pinal County Sheriff's Office says that's because it is.
ABC 15, which ran the story this week of a man named Joe Cantrell, who claimed he got a lifetime ban from the store for his frequent use of Walmart's policy of matching other stores' prices on items, is getting called out by PCSO.
"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," reads a PCSO press release/smack-down. "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."
His story, as you can see in the segment above, was that he was handcuffed by deputies and banned for life, just for price-matching.
Here's what Cantrell left out of the story, according to PCSO:
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...
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 doing to jail." (sic.) Cantrell then responded back to that post by saying, "I have to be honest with you Richard I came very close."
That was actually on December 2, when Cantrell was, yes, causing a stink because a Walmart employee explained to him that they wouldn't do a price-match for the "Black Friday" ads he brought in.
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But the details provided by PCSO were conveniently omitted from the initial story, of a man who just loved the low prices at Walmart so much that they banned him for life.
According to the Sheriff's Office, Cantrell's arrest came three days later, when he went back to the Walmart.
"Cantrell was detained by deputies and then cited and released for one count of Disorderly Conduct and one count of Threatening and Intimidating," according to the press release. "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."