Humboldt: Going Down!

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Going Down @ 11:38 a.m.

Protestors gathered in front of Wildberries Marketplace in Arcata. Photo by Hank Sims.


PREVIOUSLY: Security Camera Footage Shows Physical Encounter Between Wildberries Manager and Teen Shoplifter


A group of about 30 protestors gathered in front of Wildberries Marketplace around 10:30 this morning to call for a boycott of the Arcata grocery store in response to recently leaked security camera footage that shows a prolonged physical struggle between the store’s general manager, Aaron Gottschalk, and teenage girl suspected of shoplifting.

As reported by the Outpost’s Ryan Burns, a video of the September 30 incident was anonymously uploaded to the r/Humboldt subreddit earlier this week. In the time since Gottschalk has received both praise and criticism across social media for his handling of the situation.

In a leaked Jan. 20 letter to staff, Wildberries owner Phil Ricord acknowledged the “rumors and accusations” made by “well-meaning ‘concerned citizens’” surrounding the September 30 shoplifting incident but emphasized that “shoplifting is not acceptable under any circumstance.”

“Unfortunately, shoplifting and its prevention at times leads to unintended consequences,” according to the letter. “Had the individual involved responded to numerous verbal demands to stop no further action would have been necessary. Instead, they decided to ignore those demands and continue their exit from the store and were forcibly restrained until law enforcement arrived. Wildberries chose not to press charges.”

Ricord added that Gottschalk has been asked to work from home for the time being “as he regroups from the barrage of unwarranted and at times vicious criticism.”

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