BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - Community members were left reeling after video shared around social media showed an alleged incident in which a man appears to be kicking and yelling at a restrained shoplifter fleeing from Macy’s at the Mall of Louisiana. The man, identified by investigators as Frank Lamb, was arrested Saturday, Feb. 16.
WAFB has learned that on Thursday, Feb. 14 Latonya Hamilton, 49, was caught on surveillance video entering a Macy’s dressing room with a handful of items and a large bag. She later exited the dressing room with the items hidden in the bag and walked out of the store without paying, an employee told police. Outside of the store, Hamilton and an employee ended up on the ground while struggling over the bag.
The employee told police Hamilton began scratching her in the face and arms, and also attempted to bite her. A mall security guard came to the scene to assist the employee and was eventually able to detain Hamilton, police say. Hamilton broke free from the security guard but was captured again.
During one of the struggles with mall employees, police say Lamb allegedly walked up to Hamilton, who was already being detained, and screamed “Settle down.” Lamb then allegedly kicked Hamilton in the face twice, investigators say.
You can view the video below:
When questioned about the incident, Lamb told investigators that he was trying to help, explaining that he was attempting to use his foot to “move [Hamilton’s] hands away.”
A woman who says she is related to Hamilton told WAFB the initial theft did not warrant the kicks from Lamb, especially when video evidence appears to show she was already being restrained by multiple people.
It’s unclear which of the other people in the video were mall employees.
Hamilton was booked on the following charges for the theft:
- Simple battery
- Simple criminal damage to property
- Resisting an officer
Lamb was booked on the following charge:
- Simple battery
WAFB has reached out to the mall’s security office and Macy’s to learn more about their protocols and policies for theft prevention.