Saturday 10/16/21

Video: Suspected assault by guard on alleged shoplifter in Espoo

The woman screams and says "I can't breathe."
Guard-fight Espoo supermarket woman gypsy romani
Image: screenshots from YouTube video.

The Western Uusimaa Police Department has launched a preliminary investigation into an incident that occurred last Saturday at a K-Market grocery store in Espoo.

What seems to be a regular altercation between a security guard and a suspected shoplifter led to a spectacular fight that was recorded on video and widely spread on social networks.

The video, recorded in a supermarket in the Vallikallio neighborhood, has also been posted on YouTube under the title 'Vartija kurittaa Romaninaista', roughly translated as 'Guard punishes Romani woman'.

In the recording can be seen what seems to be a security employee in a store forcibly restraining a woman. The man seems to suspect that she has pilfered some items from the store and is hiding them.

According to the Finnish media, the guard suspected that she was hiding beer that she had stolen beneath her clothes.

Woman spits on guard

First the man throws the woman to the ground and tries to immobilize her while he yells at her "lopeta vastustelu" ("stop resisting"), but to no avail.

The fight gets tougher from minute 1:20, when the woman spits the guard in the face and other people intervene to recriminate the guard for the violence. One of those people could be the one recording the video.

The tension builds, the cry of a child is heard and the guard is constantly reprimanded for the harsh treatment of the woman. At one point, he puts his leg on top of her, immobilizes her arms, and yells at the others to get away from him and let him do his job. The woman screams and says "I can't breathe."

Suspected crimes

The police issued a statement Tuesday about the incident, in which says they are investigating two alleged crimes of assault and another suspected crime of attempted shoplifting.

Finnish media also reported that the company that hired the security guard is also investigating the incident and that the shop management described the action of the guard as unacceptable.