A Lubbock man sued the Target store at 6064 Marsha Sharp Freeway for up to $10 million on Tuesday.
Kelton Arthur claims in his lawsuit that he was tackled by Target store employee Christopher O’Dell in July of 2016.
The lawsuit said, “O’Dell … approached [Arthur] from behind knocking [Arthur] to the ground causing injury to [Arthur]. … O’Dell, then attacked [Arthur] while [Arthur] was lying on the ground causing injury to [Arthur].”
A police report goes into more detail, saying, that Arthur stole merchandise from the store.
“[Arthur] attempted to flee,” the police report said. “[O’Dell] placed his hands on [Arthur] in order to prevent him from leaving when [Arthur] bit [O’Dell] on the arm.”
“[O’Dell] placed [Arthur] on the ground to control [Arthur],” the police report said.
“[Arthur] attempted to gouge [O’Dell’s] eyes out. [O’Dell] was able to control [Arthur] on the ground until officers arrived,” it also said.
Initially a grand jury indicted Arthur for robbery. In September of this year, Arthur pleaded guilty to the lesser charge of theft. He was sentenced to one day in jail.
The police report said the stolen merchandise was recovered and EMS checked out both Arthur and O’Dell. Neither man needed to go to a hospital according to a police report.
Police were told that there is security video of the incident.
“In the video, [Arthur] clearly walks past all points of sale with the property and [Arthur] clearly assaults [O’Dell] during his flight from [Target],” the police report said.
Target has not responded to an invitation to comment. A call was also placed to Arthur’s attorney to invite comment.
O’Dell said, “Crime doesn’t pay.”
O’Dell said Arthur was trying to steal a vacuum.
“I chose to use the most humane possible forms of self defense which is basically hold him there till the police got there,” O’Dell said.
O’Dell said his skills in Jiu Jitsu very well might have saved his life and prevented others from getting hurt.
“Our function was to protect from theft of product, but also the safety of our guests, the safety of our team members and the safety of ourselves,” O’Dell said. “Had Mr. Arthur gotten away from me, and taken a hostage, or I don’t know, we don’t know where that situation could go. I know that what I did was within the law, that I didn’t break any laws, and that I didn’t do anything wrong.”
O’Dell no longer works at Target. He said his former employer supported him and his version of events.