CHARLESTON – A black man alleges he was not able to buy a gaming system and was escorted from a store due to his race.

Christopher Lewis filed a lawsuit Aug. 18 in Kanawha Circuit Court against Best Buy and William Holman.

In his complaint, Lewis alleges he entered the Best Buy in South Charleston on Feb. 7 with the intent to buy a gaming system. When Lewis went to the register to check out, however, Holman, a manager, refused to allow him to complete his purchase, according to the complaint. Holman and store security then escorted Holman from the store, the suit states.

"More specifically, in refusing to serve Mr. Lewis and [a companion] and while forcing Mr. Lewis and [the companion] to leave the store, defendant Holman told Mr. Lewis that he was 'nobody,' whom he didn't have to serve, and that Mr. Lewis should 'go back to the hood where he belonged,'" the complaint says.

In his suit, Lewis says Best Buy violated West Virginia code by engaging in unlawful public discrimination. In addition, Holman directed malicious insults toward Lewis, according to the complaint.

In his complaint, Lewis seeks general, statutory and punitive damages, plus attorney fees, costs, prejudgment and post-judgment interest and other relief the court deems just.

Keith A. Jones and Stacy A. Jacques of Jones Law Group in Charleston will represent him.

Kanawha Circuit Court case number 14-c-1477

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