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Hobby Lobby employees call police on black customer trying to make return

A Trussville man is furious after Hobby Lobby store workers called police on him while he tried to make a return.

A Trussville man is furious after Hobby Lobby store workers called police on him as he tried to make a return.

Brian Spurlock says the store manager called police while he was trying to return his girlfriend's broken vinyl machine. Apparently, they thought he looked like someone suspected of committing a crime in their store.

"[Their actions made] these folks look at me like 'Oh, he stole something. Oh, he did something wrong.' Y'all embarrassed me and [that] hurt. That made me feel like I don't need to go in no stores no more, because I look like somebody and [police] might arrest me," said Spurlock.

"She was looking at the receipt that I had and scratching the item off on the receipt. And she said, 'Hey, let me get my manager to see if we [can] return this," said Spurlock.

Spurlock says when the manager came, she told him he couldn't return the item because the box was open and that he needed to send it back to the manufacturer.

"I said, 'Is there somebody else I can talk to that can assist me with this?' She said 'yeah wait,'" said Spurlock.

Spurlock says the manager asked for his ID and told him they were calling corporate, but in reality, they were calling police.

"He walks up to me and says, 'Hey, where's your ID?' I said, 'What do you need my ID for?' He said, 'What's about to happen...you're about to be trespassing in the store'," Spurlock recalled.

Trussville Police say they followed proper procedure on a call about someone suspected of writing bad checks and making fraudulent returns. In a statement, Lt. Phil Dillon said "Hobby Lobby did have a picture of the person that was writing bad checks and making fraudulent returns and it looked somewhat like the person in the store but it did not appear to be him."

Once the officer gave Spurlock back his ID, he received his refund.

"This is supposed to be a Christian store... but unfortunately they're the wrong kind of Christians," said Ashley Maddox, Spurlock's girlfriend.

ABC 33/40's Amber Grigley made multiple calls and left messages for Hobby Lobby's media spokesperson, which have not been returned.


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