– Woman Tasered after trying to buy too many iPhones (CNET, Dec 12, 2012):
A woman trying to buy too many iPhones at a New Hampshire Apple store and ends up being Tasered by police outside the store.Normally, when you hear screams outside an Apple store, it’s because, oh, the doors have opened and there’s a new gizmo for the insatiable.
However, at the Apple store in the Pheasant Lane Mall in Nashua, N.H. on Tuesday, the screams were those of a 44-year-old Chinese woman being Tasered by police.
As WMUR-TV reports, Xiaojie Li, of Newton, N.H. says — through her 12-year-old daughter’s translation — that she isn’t proficient in English.
“She’s certainly capable of coming up here and purchasing these things from the Apple store here. Whether her language inhibited that, I really don’t know.” Those were the words of Captain Bruce Hansen of the Nashua Police Department.
What seems clearer is that she tried to buy more iPhones than was the store’s maximum of two. Li told WMUR-TV that they were for family members in China.
On Friday, she had bought two — which would suggest her English had been good enough to make the purchases. On Tuesday, she came back to buy more.
Her daughter says that the Apple store asked her to leave, but her mother didn’t understand.
The store called the police, who claim that she resisted arrest.
WCVB-TV offers a more nuanced take. It says that last Friday Li filmed other people in the Apple store who were allegedly buying more than two iPhones.
According to Hansen, she was asked to leave then too and allegedly complied.
Her daughter told WCVB-TV about the arrest: “So then the police took my mom’s phone and tried to take my mom’s bag. And my mom tried to ask them why, and they just threw her to the ground.”
Her fiance, John Hugo, told WCVB-TV that Li has been “brutalized by the police.”
“Is this proper procedure, beating her up?” he added.
The police offered to WVCB-TV that Apple had a problem with people trying to buy multiple iPhones and then selling them overseas at inflated prices. Which some might deem capitalism.
They also claimed that Li had $16,000 in cash, at the time of her being subdued.
I have contacted Apple to see if the company might like to comment on this peculiar turn of events. I will update, should the company offer its opinion.
Li is due to appear in court in January. It will be interesting to hear then what evidence both sides present to support their versions of events.
It does seem odd, however, that such force was needed to detain a 44-year-old woman.