Ryan Allison

SUIT: Black Man Assaulted By Boca Raton Apple Store Guards Claiming He Stole AirPods

Boca Raton Broward County Florida LAWSUITS News Palm Beach County

AirPods Were Purchased With ApplePay. But Lawsuit Claims Security Profiled, Threatened, Cuffed, Imprisoned, “Shame Walked” Man Through Store.

ATTORNEY: “Utterly Intolerable In Civilized Society.”

Ryan Allison says he was racially profiled, assaulted and accused of theft by security guards at the Boca Raton Apple Store.

BY: ANDREW COLTON | Editor and Publisher

BOCA RATON, FL (BocaNewsNow.com) (Copyright © 2021 MetroDesk Media, LLC) — A Black man was thrown against a wall by two security guards at the Apple Store in Boca Raton’s Town Center Mall as they accused him of stealing AirPods.

The AirPods weren’t stolen. The man, Ryan Allison — VIP Sales Manager at JM Lexus In Margate — had proof that he used ApplePay on his iPhone to buy the gift for his girlfriend.

(If you are reading this in a news app, click here to access the full report, with documents and images, on BocaNewsNow.com).

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A federal lawsuit filed on Allison’s behalf by Palm Beach County Attorney Richard Lubliner alleges the Apple Security Guards — who are employed by SIS Security — profiled Allison from the moment he walked into the store to purchase the gift. Wearing AirPods he already owned, Allison — according to the suit — asked a salesman for help buying another pair of AirPods. He then asked about an Apple Watch band. He didn’t buy the band but did buy the AirPods, using his iPhone to complete the purchase via ApplePay — something promoted and encouraged in the store.

When he walked out of the Boca Raton store, the suit claims Ryan Allison was immediately accosted by two SIS security guards who told him he stole the AirPods. Allison said he didn’t and had the electronic receipt to prove it — but the guards apparently didn’t care.

From the suit: “(Ryan Allison) was violently thrown up against a wall in the (Boca Raton Town Center) Mall by the Security Guards, put in handcuffs, and told that he had stolen the AirPods he had just paid for. (Allison) advised the Security Guards that they were mistaken, and they could look at his phone which contained proof of purchase of the AirPods.”

The suit continues: “The Security Guards refused to abide by (Allison’s) reasonable request and instead lied to him,” claiming the sales rep said the AirPods were stolen.

“Allison was then dragged, in handcuffs, from the Mall back into the Apple Store by the Security Guards,” according to the suit.


“Allison was then dragged, in handcuffs, from the Mall back into the Apple Store by the Security Guards,” according to the suit.


The late 2018 incident, according to the federal filing, then took a bizarre turn. The Apple salesperson that Ryan Allison had worked with told the security guards that they were wrong — that Allison paid for the AirPods. That proved the guards had lied to Allison when they told him the salesman reported them stolen. But the Security Guards apparently didn’t care — digging deeper into their concocted story.

“Allison was forced into the back of the store to be interrogated (where he was asked) for his name, his drivers license, his telephone number, and to see proof of purchase for his AirPods, which he previously offered to provide.”

Once the guards saw the electronic receipt — which Allison had offered to provide when the guards first accosted him — a supervisor was called and told of the situation. That led to Allison being told that he “was free to go.”

But — according to the filing — Ryan Allison “was then dragged back through the entire Apple Store, causing him to suffer even more embarrassment and emotional distress, before finally being freed.”

The suit makes several claims including emotional distress, civil battery and civil assault, but this language — written by Attorney Lubliner — is key:

“The conduct complained of herein was outrageous, and went beyond all bounds of decency, and is regarded as odious and utterly intolerable in a civilized community.”


“The conduct complained of herein was outrageous, and went beyond all bounds of decency, and is regarded as odious and utterly intolerable in a civilized community.”


In a response filed in the ongoing federal court litigation, Apple denies it is responsible for SIS, while “SIS admits only that its security guard(s) acted within the course and scope of their duties in furtherance of the business interests of SIS and its client, Apple.”

Read the suit — and the current response from Apple and SIS — below. If you are reading in a news app and the PDFs do not appear, click here.

The suit was first filed in late August. Mediation has been ordered by U.S. District Judge Rodolfo A. Ruiz II. It is set for May 26th.

Amended-Complaint-Apple

Apple-SIS-response

 

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