December 15, 2012

Woman Tasered After Trying To Buy Several iPhones

There’s a shocking story out this week about a Chinese woman who tried to buy some iPhones in a New Hampshire Apple store.

According to news sources, a language barrier between this woman and the Apple store employees (and the fuzz) led to an unfortunate scene just outside the Apple store, in the middle of the Pheasant Lane Mall in Nashua, NH. Even more unfortunate, a passerby was able to capture some amateur video of the scene outside the store.

According to WMUR-TV, Xiaojie Li was tasered and arrested by local police after she refused to leave the Apple store. The employees had refused to sell her the iPhones, which she said he intended to give to members of her family back in China. In a video by WMUR, Li uses her 12-year old daughter to translate for her, saying she doesn’t speak English.

Li had been to the Apple store the day before and bought two iPhones with no problems. She said she had returned the next day to buy several more, but the manager at the Apple store refused to sell them to her. In the video, Li’s daughter says she didn’t understand what the manager was telling her.

Like most Apple stores, the Pheasant Lane store had some local police officers providing security for the store. When Li refused to leave the store, the officers stepped in to remove her themselves.

Li then resisted arrest, leading the officers to use a taser on Li.

“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,” said Nashua Police Captain Bruce Hanses, speaking in an interview with WMUR-TV.

Now the Nashua Police Department is investigating if these police officers used excessive force when arresting Ms. Li. According to Nashua PD policy, officers can use tasers “when the subject has signaled his/her intention to actively resist arrest in an aggressive, hostile manner or when a need arises to incapacitate a dangerous, combative, or high risk subject where other use of force techniques exposes the officer, the subject or the public to unnecessary danger, or when other force techniques have been or may be ineffective.”

The officers involved in the scuffle remain on active duty.

While the use of a taser suggests excessive force, Hansen says these kinds of arrests are quite common in Nashua.

“This really is a criminal trespasser resisting arrest incident,” said Hansen.

“That’s fairly routine here, it happens quite a bit. Nothing really out of the ordinary about it.”

Ms. Li has been charged with 2 misdemeanors as a result of this incident and will go to court in January.

Apple has a 2 phone limit in their stores and when Li tried the second day to buy more than two, the managers refused. According to WCVB in Massachusetts, the manager asked Ms. Li to leave when she began using her cell phone to take videos of other customers allegedly buying more than 2 cell phones.

The “gray market” in China is well known. People will buy iPhones in America and other countries and smuggle them back into China, often charging twice as much as what they paid. According to WCVB, Ms. Li had $60,000 cash in her purse when she went to buy several iPhones during her second trip to the Apple Store.

Image Credit: Kbiros / Shutterstock

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