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Billionaire’s Wife Claims Apple Store|Racially Profiled the Wrong Family

     LOS ANGELES (CN) – A billionaire’s wife claims an Apple store falsely arrested and held her and her daughter for 4½ hours because her daughter is black.
     Christine Wisne and her daughter Angelica Hughes sued Apple, Security Industry Specialists (SISI) and Simon Property Group, which owns the Fashion Valley Mall in San Diego, where the fracas occurred on June 12, 2014.
     They also sued the Apple store manager and two SISI employees, on June 9 in Superior Court.
     Wisne is the wife of billionaire Detroit industrialist Lawrence Wisne, founder and former CEO of Progressive Tools & Industries. She claims the defendants also assaulted her and her daughter and defamed them, in and act of “unlawful racial profiling” that “reveals prejudice, bigotry, and a vile corporate culture.”
     When the ordeal was over, Wisne says, her 23-year-old daughter told her, “Mom, I am so sorry, none of this would have happened to you if I were not black.”
     Wisne says that the Apple store was “quite crowded” when they entered, but that defendant security worker Dillon Hoover kept her and her daughter under “constant surveillance” and followed them “at every step through the store.”
     When they bought $3,228.04 in Apple products using an American Express Centurion card, or Black Card, a store worker said he needed approval from the manager because of the amount. After doing so, Wisne says, the man offered to help carry the purchase to her car, which her daughter “politely declined.”
     Though Hoover never said the credit card was declined or “did not work,” Wisne says, when they left the store, defendant security worker Russell Valerio grabbed her and handcuffed her after putting her “in a position of painful submission,” then told her, “You’re under arrest for using a stolen credit card.”
     Wisne, who has multiple sclerosis, says she could not resist, but her daughter “screamed and pleaded: ‘Stop!'” Wisne says Valerio dragged her back into the mall in handcuffs, while her daughter continued pleading with him, telling him “Do not drag my mother. She has MS. Stop injuring her!”
     But Valerio “perp-walk paraded [them] like criminals through the mall,” and held them in a “holding cell” for 4½ hours. Wisne claims that defendant store manager Jodi Yorkey accused them of using a stolen credit card during their embarrassing perp walk.
     When they were finally released, Wisne says, “as a last act of assault, R.V. [Russell Valerio] holding onto the receipt drew his arm back, aimed at and threw the receipt at Angelica Hughes.”
     Apple later changed its tune, the plaintiffs claim, and accused the pair of using fake identification.
     The defendants did not respond to requests for comment.
     The plaintiffs are represented by James Daily, of Costa Mesa.
     They seek punitive damages for defamation, false arrest, assault and battery, intentional infliction of emotional distress, false arrest and imprisonment, and civil rights violations.

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