This case involves a woman who was raped and severely beaten at a gas station mini-mart. On the day of the incident, 3 men entered the mini-mart and started to harass the clerks. The men attempted to grab cash out of the register. The plaintiff was shopping in the mini-mart at the time of the altercation and the group suddenly attacked her without being provoked. They knocked out several of her teeth and fractured her skull before taking her to their car outside of the mini-mart to rape her. The police were only called after the men forcibly removed the plaintiff from the mini-mart. The clerks never called 911 when the gang was attempting to forcefully grab money from the register. It was alleged that the staff of the mini-mart was not trained properly to handle this type of situation. Furthermore, it was alleged that if the staff had called 911 sooner, the plaintiff would not have suffered such severe physical and emotional trauma. An expert in gas station security was sought to discuss the mini-mart’s responsibility to protect its customers.
Question(s) For Expert Witness
- 1. Please explain your background as it relates to store security.
- 2. Under what circumstances should police be called to diffuse a dangerous situation?
Expert Witness Response E-009330
I am an expert in site operations and the execution of safety and security at convenience store facilities. I was responsible for operations at 400 gas station and convenience stores, where my responsibilities included ensuring site safety and security. In addition, I was responsible for the franchise’s operations of an additional 1,600 facilities. Standard operating procedure for such cases includes:
- (a) Do not attempt to fight, follow, or argue with the criminals
- (b) If the criminals want the money from the till, comply
- (c) When the criminals leave, call 911 and do not follow them
- (d) Preserve all video evidence
- (e) If a customer is being attacked or harassed, call 911 immediately, permitted it is safe to do so (i.e. criminal is not threatening the employee)
Employees are trained to follow these standard operations. I have testified and/or consulted in nearly 20 gas station and/or convenience store litigation proceedings, with many cases involving site security and safety, slips and falls, oil spills, customers hit by delivery vehicles, and customers injured by dog attacks.