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Woman accused of shoplifting sues guard who tackled her

BROOKSVILLE — A Brooksville woman arrested in December for shoplifting from Belk department store is now suing the store security guard who tackled her as she tried to make her getaway.

Amy Ulm, 32, filed a civil lawsuit seeking damages in excess of $15,000 on April 4 for negligence, battery and false imprisonment. It alleges that the security guard, Bill Allen, tackled Ulm, threw her to the ground and unlawfully restrained her.

The suit stands opposite to a Hernando County Sheriff's Office arrest report that alleges Ulm stole merchandise, resisted a store employee and assaulted the security guard.

Here's how the arrest report recounts the events at the Belk's in Brooksville on Dec. 27:

Allen reported seeing Ulm enter the store wearing a low-cut pink shirt and pink pants. After picking out a few items from the women's department, she went to the dressing room and emerged wearing a silver knitted shirt over her pink one.

Ulm went to pay for a few other items in her hand but not the new shirt on her back.

As she tried to leave, Allen stopped her and asked her to come to his office. Ulm refused and kept walking toward the exit.

Allen then grabbed Ulm to detain her and she kicked him in the groin and bit his right hand and forearm.

He then was "forced to take (her) to the ground" and restrained her until deputies arrived, the report states.

Inside her purse investigators reported finding a black knitted shirt with a Belk's price tag and a tag for the shirt. The total value of the items was about $80.

Allen was treated at the scene for his injuries, but Ulm was taken to Brooksville Regional Hospital. She suffered cuts on her knuckles and bruising on her arms and above her left eyebrow.

Ulm's lawsuit states she suffered permanent injuries, the loss of an important bodily function and permanent scarring or disfigurement.

It does not mention any of the three misdemeanor criminal charges, which are still pending.

Her attorney, Pedro Morales of Lakeland, was not available for comment.

John Frank can be reached at jfrank@sptimes.com or (352) 754-6114.

Woman accused of shoplifting sues guard who tackled her 04/10/08 [Last modified: Sunday, April 13, 2008 12:12pm]
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