Steamboat man faces kidnapping charge after forcing Walmart employee around store
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — A 60-year-old man was arrested Tuesday evening at Walmart after he forced an employee to accompany him throughout the store against their will.
David Brown of Steamboat Springs was taken into custody without incident at the business, located in Central Park Plaza in Steamboat, according to police. Brown took the employee around as he collected items throughout the store and prevented her from leaving his side.
“The quick and calm actions by the store employee along with the fast response from our officers ensured this matter didn’t escalate to something much larger,” Steamboat Springs Police Commander Annette Dopplick said in a news release Wednesday.
Dopplick noted that, “while we live in a small town, we’re not immune to situations such as these.”
According to an affidavit that came from the Routt County Justice Center, Brown entered the store at around 7 p.m. and demanded a manager meet him at the front. The store manager met Brown at which point he told her to “let him take what he needed” and “be quiet about it.”
“I’m a veteran, and I don’t deserve this,” the man reportedly told the employee, according to the affidavit. “I’ve had several issues with this Walmart already.”
Brown went on to tell the employee that he previously had a sleeping bag stolen from him in the store and was not helped, according to the affidavit.
He reportedly yelled at the woman that if she didn’t comply with his demand he would call corporate. The man wore a pack around his waist, according to the employee, who said she was unsure if it contained a weapon.
Visibly shaken and in fear for her safety, the employee accompanied Brown around the store, according to the affidavit. She eventually got another employee to walk with the man as she ran to the service desk and called 911.
Steamboat police arrived to the scene less than a minute later, according to police.
When police asked Brown what happened, he said he went into the store to get some toiletries and personal items, according to the affidavit. He told officers he knew Walmart had a policy of donating items to people, and he had simply asked the store manager if he could get some items donated to him.
“It was one of the local transient guys we have had this summer,” Sgt. Shane Musgrave said. “We have dealt with him a few times.”