CHARLESTON -- A man who says he was wrongfully detained after shopping at a Macy’s store has filed a lawsuit against two of the store’s loss prevention associates and the store itself.

Eyoel Kifle filed a lawsuit April 25 in Kanawha Circuit Court against Macy’s Retail Holdings, Ian Hardesty and an unidentified loss prevention associate identified only as Jane Doe.

In his complaint, Kifle alleges he was shopping in Macy’s on Dec. 1, 2012, to return a jacket he had received as a present. He was given a gift card for the item, then proceeded to shop for other items and paid for them, according to the complaint.

He then left the store and entered the Charleston Town Center Mall. As he was walking toward the mall’s exit, he was grabbed and restrained by Hardesty and another female Macy’s store associate, the suit states.

He was taken back to a small room in the Macy’s store, where he was held for “what seemed to be a long period of time,” the complaint says.

Hardesty and the other employee told Kifle they were calling the police, then grabbed his phone and left the room, Kifle claims. At some later time, they re-entered the room, gave Kifle his phone and told him the police were not coming, according to the complaint. They then allowed Kifle to leave the room, the suit states.

In his complaint, Kifle accuses Hardesty and his co-associate of negligently apprehending and falsely imprisoning him, causing Kifle to suffer from embarrassment, humiliation, aggravation and inconvenience.

Kifle, who is from Ethiopia, claims he was also discriminated against.

Kifle is seeking unspecified compensatory damages within the jurisdictional limits of the court, plus interest and costs.

He is being represented by Shannon M. Bland of Bland and Bland in Charleston. The case has been assigned to Circuit Judge Louis H. Bloom.

Kanawha Circuit Court case number 14-C-981


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