Home / PINAC News / Ohio Mall Security Guard Flies off the Handle Trying to Prevent Photos of Accident

Ohio Mall Security Guard Flies off the Handle Trying to Prevent Photos of Accident


A security guard for an Ohio shopping mall made a complete fool of herself as she tried to prevent people from taking photos of a truck that ended up in a ravine on mall property.

Officer Adams, as she describes herself in the above video, first threatened to confiscate cameras, then ordered people to delete their photos and finally ended up pushing a woman who immediately fought back.

The two women ended up punching and kicking each other on the street as onlookers calmly observed, including one who video recorded the debacle.

As outrageous as the video is, it is even more outrageous that the spokesman for the Ohio Valley Mall in St. Clairsville defended the security guard’s actions, telling WTRF that she was merely doing her job, which is to prevent people from taking photos on mall property.

Mall Director of Corporate Communications, Joe Bell, told WTRF on Monday that the fight occurred on mall property and the security guard was doing her job and was explaining to the woman that no pictures were allowed on mall property when the fight broke out.

Bell added no one was charged in the incident.

While it’s true that private companies can set their own policies regarding photography, they should notify customers about this policy as they enter the mall as they usually do about prohibitions against smoking or soliciting.

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If they are so serious about their policy that they would allow security guards to attack shoppers, then they should post their policy on their website as the Crabtree Valley Mall in North Carolina did.

PHOTOGRAPHY: Photography, videotaping, or similar recordations are strictly prohibited without explicit permission from the mall management.

Failure to obey these rules or to comply with lawful and reasonable requests by the Crabtree Valley Mall Management, Special Police or Security will result in your being asked to leave the mall. If you refuse to leave, you will be arrested and prosecuted for criminal trespass.

But as strict as the Crabtree Valley Mall is about photography, even they know they can only order people off the property or have them arrested for trespassing.

They can’t order you to delete your photos nor can they order you to hand over your camera. And they certainly can’t get physical with you if you refuse to stop taking photos or even if you refuse to leave. They can only call the cops on you.

Fortunately for Adams, she wasn’t fired, but if she was, she is certainly qualified to work at 50 State Security in Miami.

Ohio Security Guard

About Carlos Miller

Carlos Miller is founder and publisher of Photography is Not a Crime, which began as a one-man blog in 2007 to document his trial after he was arrested for photographing police during a journalistic assignment. He is also the author of The Citizen Journalist's Photography Handbook, which can be purchased through Amazon.
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  • Steve

    I see this as a lack of training for this security person. She should have just called the cops and had them charged with trespassing instead of escalating the situation in which she was clearly not prepared to deal with.

    • Elliott Whitlow

      A review of the surrounding property leads me to question whether she even had the authority to do ANYTHING. Look at the google maps of the area, basically every street around it was a city street, I didn’t see anything on property that fit the bill..

      Edited: (left original text, added below)
      I got caught up in the Crabtree Valley Mall reference and didn’t google the right mall.. (DAMN!) I have found the area that I think this was taken in google maps and I think it could go either way if it was public/private.

      Either way security guard assaulted that woman and got her ass beat..

      • Steve

        All the more reason for her to call the police. Carlos has posted examples of security claiming sidewalk as private property only to have the police set them straight.

        • steveo

          Catron et al. v. City of St. Petersburg 658 F.3d 1260 (2011)

          The Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals recently vacated a
          decision of U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida which had
          upheld the City’s of St. Petersburg municipal ordinance authorizing certain City officials to issue trespass warnings. In vacating the lower court, the Eleventh Circuit held that the City’s trespass warning ordinance was unconstitutional.

          Generally, malls and places of business like this don’t want situations like this because this is bad for business. They like to steer clear of trespassing beefs (even with the kids) because something like this gets news attention they don’t want.

      • Rob

        Agreed. To me it looks like she was well outside the mall property when she was throwing her little tantrum.

        • http://excoplawstudent.wordpress.com/ ExCop-LawStudent

          Guys, y’all are looking at the wrong map. Ohio. Not N.C.

          • Rob

            Actually I was looking at the map of the mall in Ohio, Not N.C.

          • http://excoplawstudent.wordpress.com/ ExCop-LawStudent

            So how do you get that she was well off of mall property, when the location she was at was clearly on the mall ring road, directly connected to and part of the mall parking lot?

      • http://www.richardfordphotography.com/ Richard Ford

        Her donkey got beat? I didn’t see any donkey??

    • steveo

      plus she really stinks as a freestyle wrestler. at about 2:28 when the rollerblade chik reaches up over her back to put a head lock on her,. the security babe should have done a half nelson on her and pinned her to the road. In freestyle ,. you never ever reach over your back. It would have been better for the rollerblade chik to stand up,. escape then go for a double or single leg take down.

      • bj

        That had me in stitches! Beautiful description!

  • Elliott Whitlow

    While I am certainly not advocating violence I do have to say that the security guard assaulting someone who was not violent certainly does open her up to an ass whooping. That little attempted play with the cuffs was weak and whatever weapon she had, not sure if it was mace or a taser. I have to say that guard was completely out of line and the Mall’s statement is little more than ass covering. I think it is quite telling that there were no charges.

    due to the reference to another mall further down (damn!) I googled the wrong mall and pulled up the wrong map.. Reviewing it now..

    • StreyDawg


    • http://excoplawstudent.wordpress.com/ ExCop-LawStudent

      Uh, how is a mall in Ohio located in Raleigh, NC? Crabtree wasn’t the mall in question, it was another mall used for an example of their photography policy.

      They were at the Ohio Valley Mall, St Clairsville, OH 43950. Google maps clearly shows that the road there is named “Mall Ring Rd” and is part of mall property. They have absolute authority to prohibit photography on their property and to eject anyone that refuses to obey that photography ban.

      • Clark

        Prove that they’re in control of that actual property, and that it is actually private property please.

        • http://excoplawstudent.wordpress.com/ ExCop-LawStudent



          Don’t have to. The story says it was mall property, and the map shows it is consistent with being mall property. The only place that it was claimed that it was not mall property were in the comments.

          However, if you want to drive to Ohio, to the county clerk and pull the deed book, go ahead.

        • http://www.facebook.com/joe.tucker.984 Joe Tucker

          places like parking lots and malls are public property no matter what anyone says otherwise….also resteraunts and anywhere where the public gathers is public areas and you can film there….the exception are the bathrooms, dressing rooms or private employee areas

          • Phred

            No matter what anyone else says? Even the law? I do believe that mall parking lots are private property, and so are the interiors of restaurants and stores. So no, you can’t record in those places if they ask you not to.

          • http://www.facebook.com/joe.tucker.984 Joe Tucker

            parking lots….public…..inside places…private…except for resteraunts…anywhere where the public converges is public property

          • http://www.facebook.com/ashelton1980 Andy Shelton

            That’s not accurate at all. Public property and property open to the public are very different animals. Owners of property open to the public can set whatever rules they please.

          • Difdi

            You’re confusing public property (owned by the government) and privately owned places of public accommodation. Malls are almost always privately owned, and if the privately owned property includes a parking lot (or even a private road) then those count as private property as well.

            While there are laws about what owners of places of public accommodation can do, prohibiting photography does not violate those laws. Nor does ordering someone to leave if they violate the policies of the property owner. Nor does physically ejecting someone from the premises if they refuse to leave when ordered to do so.

            The constitution restricts government activity, it has no effect whatsoever on private individuals or corporations.

            The security guard probably should have called the police rather than wading into an altercation herself, but as an agent of the property owner, she had the lawful authority to do so to remove a trespasser from private property.

      • Elliott Whitlow

        Ok, good point, I got hung up on a sentence further down.. Let me re-review that. Thank you.

      • Elliott Whitlow

        Based on what we can see in the background I think this is the area:


        that little white building to the right and the roadway that bends off before it is what I’m using. It would help to know exact position or rough area but that’s the best I’ve got after looking the mall over pretty good. Anybody else have a better position?

        Banfield Rd splits into in and out lanes. It COULD be mall property but its location would lend a reasonable person to question the claims of the mall security guard.

      • http://www.facebook.com/joe.tucker.984 Joe Tucker

        Parking lots are not considered private property and IS protected by the 1st amendment…..anywhere where the public goes to and from all day like a parking lot is public property

        • http://excoplawstudent.wordpress.com/ ExCop-LawStudent


          • Garnette

            She may not have been fired but she lost all creditability and made herself a laughing stock.. I can see people messing with her for years over this incident… hmmm wonder where she is working now 😉

          • Difdi

            Security guards are supposed to be tough and professional.

            Picking a fight is unprofessional. Losing it is worse.

          • http://excoplawstudent.wordpress.com/ ExCop-LawStudent

            Losing it as badly as she did, on video, is even further down that chain.

          • Joey Menendez

            Parking lots are Private Property. They are built by the owner of the property to facilitate parking for the patrons that visit the mall or any business that it has. The representative has the right to enforce any “House” rules or Policies that are in effect and will stand up in court.

            You can not tell someone that their driveway of their house is public can you? It was built to facilitate parking for the owner by the owner.

          • http://excoplawstudent.wordpress.com/ ExCop-LawStudent

            My “incorrect” reply was to Joe, not Elliott. Elliot is dead-on correct, as are you.

          • Matty S.

            Lolololololololololololololol. I love it when people with no authority realize that they have no control.

          • An Adams

            I apologize on the behalf of all Adams for this Woman! lol talk bout a power trip! All she had to do is let them know the policy once, then call the cops and have them removed. Easy!

          • Eric Wallace

            As always my first question is why? Why does it matter to the mall or this lame security guard if people take photos? The mall didn’t cause the accident. She’s not protecting the interest of the mall or property owners. Whether i’m just viewing an accident or photographing an accident doesn’t change the fact that an accident has occurred

          • Sean Michael Parsons

            Power tripping, probably a wannabe pig, but couldn’t even meet their low standards.

          • $22798478

            Eric I was thinking the same thing. It’s like, GET THE FUCK AWAY FROM ME AND GO TAKE YOUR MEDICINE. Just white trash power tripping.

          • Difdi

            As an agent of the property owner, she had the authority to order people off the property. Those who disobeyed are guilty of criminal trespassing, and are subject to arrest and criminal charges.

            Now, rather than wade into an altercation with half a dozen people, she should have radioed for police. But while her actions were unwise, they were mostly lawful.

          • Elliott Whitlow

            I am not so sure, I have reviewed aerial photographs of the area around and that area in particular. I believe there is an open and valid question whether the area they were in would be considered mall property and even if it was whether they were in the easement. I’m sorry but I don’t take the mall at their word..

        • Elliott Whitlow

          Parking lots certainly CAN be private property, there is ZERO precedent to indicate otherwise. That some places lease the parking lot from the city is a different debate, in those cases it is closer to private property than public.
          You may want to reconsider your perspective because it won’t standup in court.

        • Jon Quimbly

          It depends on the state. In the 80s, a decision by the Supremes said it’s up to state constitutional law. Some states permit First amendment activities in malls, while others don’t – it’s down to whether the state’s constitution offers greater protections for speech than the federal constitution.

          Ohio doesn’tallow activities at private malls that are otherwise legal on public property, like pickets, protests. I don’t know if that extends to newsgathering.

          Background: http://www.davelippman.com/LawoftheMall.html

          • eddy

            That was quite entertaining.

      • http://www.telescreen.org Vidiot

        True, but they don’t have the authority to confiscate cameras, delete pictures, or assault people. You could say that she was attempting to use reasonable force to eject someone who had been asked to leave and refused to, but this doesn’t seem to have been the best way to do that. Security guard should have called the police if she was attempting to eject people who had been legitimately asked to leave private property.

  • Jim talbot

    the security guard got her ass whipped fair and square… she assaulted the other person, its a clear case of self defense. The security guard should also be Fired….

    • tomhoser

      Then boned up the ass for good measure.

  • kmacarth

    At first I thought this was phony, but then as I watched, I couldn’t help from laughing. I swear, I could not look away from this trainwreck. Oh, thanks for posting this…

    • Elliott Whitlow

      Oh, it was a trainwreck, bodies and all.

  • StreyDawg

    Loved the Rosco P. Coltrane outfit.

    Would’ve been even better if Flash was taking a snooze in the grass

  • Amanda Houston

    She needs DBT Skills

  • Big B

    Who the hell cares if it’s mall property or not!! The bottom line that PINAC and CopBlock and all of US that are payng attention are concerned with is that security of all sorts, whether police, military or MALL COP,,, is WAAAY out of line in pushing their power and authority. America is becoming a police state and now we even see MALL COP acting as if she is part of the Gestapo

    • Joey Menendez

      Big – They’ve aways acted like that. You have quite a few who give a bad name to those who are just actually trying to to their job. Security Guards in any part of the Country have the same authority as you or I. The power of Citizen’s arrest did not just get handed to the guard and not us…We’ve always had this power just never use it.

      IN Texas a Citizen has the power of arrest if he/she witnesses another person commit a felony and has the right to detain said person until police arrive. At which time the citizen is now the arresting person and files the charges not the police officer. The officer will simply assist the citizen in their duty of arresting the person committing the crime.

      • http://excoplawstudent.wordpress.com/ ExCop-LawStudent

        Actually in Texas, a citizen can arrest for a felony in their presence, a breach of the peace in their presence, or to prevent the consequences of theft. Everything else is correct.

        • http://www.facebook.com/O.J.TheJuiceSimpson David Howell

          What would constitute a breach of peace? Just curious.

          • http://excoplawstudent.wordpress.com/ ExCop-LawStudent

            Disorderly conduct, fighting in public, anything that disturbs the public peace and tranquility. It can be very fact specific.

          • Difdi

            Generally anything that involves physical violence, though in some places there are ‘fighting words’ statutes that make certain insults or accusations breaches of the peace as well.

        • Difdi

          Same for Washington state.

  • http://meancreativity.com/ Mason Pelt

    DO they not legally have to post signs?

    • Elliott Whitlow

      Probably not..

    • steveo

      A property owner can “invite” you or “uninvite” you for any reason or no reason. Security guards are usually given the same rights as the property owner as far as the “uninivite” thing goes. I still don’t think that these people were on the mall’s property.

      The mall can say, “we own the road”, but with the SCOTUS’s history on time,place and manner restrictions, the more “public” an area, the more likely the courts are to give the newsgatherer the freedom of the press especially when the person is actually gathering a newsworthy item like this. They usually put parks, sidewalks and roads, in this very public area, especially roads that do not limit access like this one even if the mall wants to maintain that it is private property.

      These people would also have a legitimate claim of prior restraint under the 1st Amendment against the property owner, if this is determined to be “public” property. The mall’s attorneys would tell them to settle. It’s an easy 10 grand.

      • Elliott Whitlow

        You had me up until prior restraint. As a property owner I can engage in prior restraint all I want, you have no claim. The government is the only one who simply isn’t allowed. Malls can restrict your rights or at least try and it would be generally legal. But ONLY on their property and outside of easements..
        As I commented elsewhere to you here. The road might be more of a driveway so the ability to restrict is there. We need more information to make that determination.

        • steveo

          It depends on how “public” the court determines your property to be. With the 1st Amendment anything is in play. It’s like on this blog, we tell everyone, Don’t fk with the 1st Amendment. If a person is there to fight with his spouse or brother or some crazy reason, yes, there is no 1st Amendment right, but if there is a legitimate news gathering situation, then the freedom of the press kicks in and the courts are extremely liberal in this regard. These people had a legitimate 1st Amendment right to record an event that was important to the public. And no one, can determine what is important and what is not.

          It’s really better for all property owners to steer completely clear of the 1st Amendment because it’s going to be extremely expensive.

          But, I am the prior restraint guy. I say when in doubt sue for prior restraint because the SCOTUS has never ruled against prior restraint. Therefore, barring everything else, if you were just pissed off and wanted to make a point, you could legitimately sue for prior restraint. But here, I might just go to small claims, file my $67.00 filing fee and give the county judge a pain in the ass. Use the system against the man.

  • Nancy Robinson-Jackson

    it looks like there on mall property but are filming something off mall property not the mall itself.she lost it when she got no resecpt.but to get respect you have to earn it.she would make a fine cop just ask one.i wish they would have shown the truck more it was down that hill .

    • JoJo

      I know I might be a little late for this, but I did Security for several years. I remember being told, above all else, my job was to Observe and Report. The powers of a Security Guard are that of an average citizen (NOT a cop) with the exception of having Legal Standing at the given location. EXCEPT under EYE WITNESS of a FELONY, we cannot ever lay our hands on someone. IE; if I catch you shoplifting, I can attempt to bar your path, or snatch the “goods” but, legally, I cannot put my hands on you. Now most “shoplifters” won’t press charges as they don’t know any better. This being said, it is not a FELONY for those persons to video record, on or off property. Also, the POLICY clearly states you will be “asked” to leave. If you fail to comply, Police will be notified. Security Guard was on a power trip and looks like she’s use to getting her way with intimidation. Retired LEO?

      • Elliott Whitlow

        I doubt she was retired LEO, didn’t look old enough. The ability to perform a citizen’s arrest varied by jurisdiction but in general your description fits. Putting your hands on someone is most cases is an invitation to get a beatdown. I can say with no reservation that openly recording in public is not even a misdemeanor let alone a felony. As a further point an actual attempt to TAKE a camera would be legally considered a theft and would allow for recourse like shoves and punches to prevent it.
        All in all this guard was ignored by the people, she might scare kids but adults who know better have nothing to fear..

        • http://excoplawstudent.wordpress.com/ ExCop-LawStudent

          It depends on the state, like you say. In most states, a security guard can make an arrest for any felony or breach of the peace in their presence, or to prevent the consequences of theft (i.e., shoplifting). Most companies don’t want their guards to do so, due to the liability. Also, in most states, you can use force to remove someone from your property, again, most companies don’t want the liability.

          • Elliott Whitlow

            The use of force to remove a non-violent perpetrator in an outlot or property edge would be much harder to justify than the opposite of a violent perp in the building. In Iowa the use of force statute would probably not allow this guard to forcibly remove someone or even put their hands on anyone in this video.
            She has no safety claim, it is very clear she assaulted that lady and that lady wasn’t going to take it, and I’m not convinced she legally had to. You don’t get to be violent and then attempt to draw a weapon/cuffs to protect yourself in general. You don’t get to provoke a violent act and then act on YOUR provocation. Cops get a lot more leeway on that.

          • http://excoplawstudent.wordpress.com/ ExCop-LawStudent

            In the states where force may be used to remove someone from property, typically there is no requirement for the other party to have been violent. She doesn’t have to have a safety claim, it’s straightforward property rights.

          • Elliott Whitlow

            I am fairly sure that this is VERY fact dependent so I’m not going to debate it much further, but her use of violence was unjustified and unlawful in my view. They were in the curtilage which has protections but I believe in general has LESS, YMMV. She got her ass handed to her as the aggressor and lost any shred of respect she could have had.

          • http://excoplawstudent.wordpress.com/ ExCop-LawStudent

            Uh, that’s not the curtilage.

          • Difdi

            Even so, force must be proportionate. Someone taking a shortcut across your yard certainly doesn’t justify gunfire in most circumstances. Likewise, shoving and punching someone is difficult to justify unless they punch and shove you first.

            By all means, use the proper amount of force in the proper manner to remove an argumentative trespasser. But the security guard didn’t do that.

          • http://excoplawstudent.wordpress.com/ ExCop-LawStudent

            Deadly force is not authorized anywhere that I am aware of, but you’re right, she should have been a little smarter.

      • Sean Michael Parsons

        Not retired, aspiring future LEO. Oh and when she gets that gun, taser and pepper spray she will make THIS perp pay for embarrassing her. And by “THIS perp” I mean every person that ever challenges her self image of her god-like status.

  • Joey Menendez

    The proper course of action would have been to politely ask those folks to stop taking photos and explain it is private property and it is not allowed by the mall. If it comes into questions have a supervisor arrive and let them attempt to explain, if that fails call the police and let them explain.

    Honestly, who wouldn’t want to take photos of such an accident. You don’t see that everyday. Normally the rules in malls regarding photograph exist not only for security towards it patrons from those nasty little “Terrorist” but to prevent competitors from stealing sales secrets and strategies from each other.

    I have been a secret guard before and honestly I would not have enforced the “No photography” rule in this instance. I would rather be concerned with the safety of those folks making sure that they do not impede traffic causing another accident and keep traffic flowing normally or better yet, render aid to the person who just had an accident on my property that I protect.

  • http://meancreativity.com/ Mason Pelt

    The statement from the mall was asinine. The problem with companies like this is an obsession with what they can legally enforce (no filming, no weapons, no shirt, no service) but no one in marketing of PR ever tell the guys from legal off.

    I got stopped by a security guard at a mall a while back blog post. http://www.masonpelt.com/no-shoping-mockingbird-station/

    They stood by “legal right” while several people I know who organise film festivals switched locations because of my experience. It was a dumb move, they could have had a great PR moment when they talked about how they changed a policy because that was what customers wanted, but no… they got to be right.

    • http://meancreativity.com/ Mason Pelt

      Also I know the digital marketing manager for Chili’s, and he encourages not
      just photos, but also geo tagging! Why? SEO and social simply put people shop were
      there friends shop.

      This was just a dumb move from a PR point of view.

  • http://www.facebook.com/tom.jankowski.3154 Tom Jankowski

    The mall claimed the security guard was just doing her job. Just like the guy filling the Nazi gas chambers was doing his job.

    • http://excoplawstudent.wordpress.com/ ExCop-LawStudent

      Congratulations. The first one to mention Nazis is commonly assumed to have no other valid argument, so they resort to inane references.

      Thanks for playing, better luck next time.

      • StreyDawg

        Congratulations. You have taken what is actually nothing more than an adage (Godwin’s Law), and used it as if it were a real rule of dialogue.

        The effort to pretend that Godwin’s Law is real rather than nothing more than a rhetorical meme is amusing, but it’s a fail nonetheless, so I think I’m going to title the often-used effort to pretend that invoking Nazis is a real violation of logic in dialogue as “The Godwin’s Law Fail.”

        But thanks for playing.

        • mm2kay

          I work security and as a supervisor I wouldn’t tolerate this person’s behavior. I do have a potential person that would blow up like this, but he knows I would personally kick his ass if he does. So he’s been containing his urges.

      • Difdi

        Actually, Godwin’s Law says nothing of the sort.

        • http://excoplawstudent.wordpress.com/ ExCop-LawStudent

          Gordon’s Restatement of Godwin’s Law says that. Well, actually it says “start sounding like muddy-brained bumpkin-infants,
          certain-about-everything, singing “La La La La La La La”, with their
          fingers in their ears….”, which I shortened to “inane references”.

  • Corey

    she should have put the guard in citizens arrest.

    • Elliott Whitlow

      Probably, but she had already won in every way that matters. The guard got her ass whooped and she couldn’t even do anything about it. She lost the respect of everyone who sees the video.

  • Bill Larson

    This may be unpopular here, but she had the right to order people off of the malls property if they were not following the policies of the property owner, when they didn’t leave, she should have just called the police and had them issued a trespass order and left it at that.

    How much do you wanna bet if it was a 200+ pound man that they wouldn’t have tried to get physical with the security guard.

    • Elliott Whitlow

      Your position is predicated on the proposition that the mall owned the property they were on and that they WEREN’T in the easement. I am not taking a hard line position that they were legally in the right BUT the location this went down could easily fall in the easement. So the property owner policies would not be in effect, certainly not enough to commit an assault. I’d love to see the platt map..
      She should have just called the police and let them sort it out, agreed.
      You really should re-watch the video, the guard put her hands on that lady first. Replace the lady with a 200+ pound man and the guard doesn’t get pulled off the woman, he goes to the ER after a beating because he put hands on a woman and not in self-defense. As for whether they would have ignored a 200+ pound, if I believed myself to be in the right legally, yeah I would ignore him. Instead she assaulted a woman and then got taken down for which she couldn’t do anything about..
      The worst case scenario here is a misdemeanor trespass charge, not a lot of risk..

  • http://www.telescreen.org Vidiot

    That WTRF link has been updated, and says that the guard was fired:

  • Elliott Whitlow

    The guard WAS fired..


    That’s what happens when you make your employer look like buffoons.

  • Bob

    Damn! A biker beating a dyke’s obese ass! This made my year!

  • Karen B

    Are u people really discussing wether it’s mall property or not? Who cares?! The video is awesome and crazy bc of “officer Adams” overinflated sense of authority, it’s the funniest thing ever, better than a Saturday night live skit! She is taking the situation wayyyyy too seriously, she acted like those people were violating every law known to man! Get over yourself Officer Adams!!!

  • Amicus Curia

    Well, actually, you have to leave if the owner orders you to, although filming itself is not illegal. Staying on private property when ordered to leave is. Just take the photos, and leave before the cops arrive. The guard has no right to touch you, seize your camera, or assault you in any way except in self defense. They cannot ‘detain’ you (lawfully) for trespassing.

    • Difdi

      Partly wrong. The guard CAN touch you in order to remove you from the property. Robbing you of your property on the other hand is not.

  • Amicus Curia

    It’s not *quite* that simple. e.g. The Harri Krishnas habitually beat their drums in airport terminals while wearing sandals (or barefoot) and robes, dancing in an effort to curry alms/donations. The airport authorities didn’t like it and would trespass them. When the issue reached the high court, the justices ruled in the Krishnas’ favor as (according to the court) the religious group was exercising its 1st Amendment right of freedom of expression/speech.

    At mall somewhere in the upper midwest (I believe) union members were demonstrating with signs in a labor dispute as they stood in the shopping center’s parking lot. The mall management tried to have them trespassed. Again, the high courts ruled against management for virtually the same reasons as the Krishna case. The parking lot was deemed as commonly available to the public. While it was ‘private’ property, it wasn’t private in the same sense your living room or the interior of a store might be. At any rate, the photos themselves are not illegal as there was no expectation of privacy in the above video. Whether the onlooking photographers all had to leave was another matter. It was also likely moot once the photos and video had been captured. At that point, I likely would have left, having gotten what I came for. What concerns me is if the hysterical guard had been seriously armed, this could have been tragic.

  • Amicus Curia

    Uh, not exactly. They can set ‘rules’ (e.g. no pictures). They can ask you to leave. They can seek to have you arrested for trespass if you don’t. But, they cannot order you (successfully) to stop taking pictures, seize your camera, order you to delete the photos, or have you arrested for taking the photos.

  • Amicus Curia

    I disagree. The security guard did not have the authority to physically accost anyone in the circumstances captured by the video.

    • Difdi

      The security guard overreacted, but not as much as you think.

      It is lawful for a property owner or their agent to order a person to leave their property. If that person refuses, it is lawful to use the necessary minimum of force to remove that person. Most businesses call the police for this part because police are partially shielded from civil liability where property owners and their employees (or contractors) are not.

      But just because it’s wise to use police for the civil liability shield, it’s not required by law that you do this. The security guard overreacted, but the overreaction and physical altercation was a lawful act.

  • Straight_Shooter

    Ofc Bernice Fife got her cottage cheese butt handed to her. What is illegal about taking a photo outside of the mall of a ravine?


    She was fired for not being professional not because she was wrong about enforcing the rule.
    Just because something is not a crime in the legal system doesn’t mean you have the right to do it on private property.

    Mall Cop’s Fight Highlights Public Misinformation on Authority


  • Rob

    Oh that’s just freaking hilarious.

  • juan santana


  • steveo

    This had to be staged.This couldn’t actually happen in real life. Plus her uniform doesn’t really fit right,. an employer isn’t going to let someone look like that,. come on.

    If it’s real,. they are standing on the easement,. that isn’t mall property. The road isn’t mall property either.

    The reason that you cannot find a statutory cite to the notion that a trespass citation on public property is criminal is because there is none. The limitations on activities that the general public engage in on public property is largely controlled by the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and in particular the right to free speech and peaceable assembly.

  • NorthoftheBorder Gold

    I can’t say much, I knocked a Security Guard out once… It was fun.

  • Elliott Whitlow

    I’m not prepared to go with staged but lets be real, its mall security, I’m sorry but professionalism isn’t the hallmark.. I know a good guy who used to work security at a big mall department store, they were much more serious about professionalism than mall security.

  • vlhhwood1626

    “This couldn’t actually happen in real life”

    seriously..You need to take that tin foil hat off and get out of your mama’s
    basement more often. How old are you, 13? Stuff like this happens every day of
    the week. A blind person could tell this wasn’t staged. When was the last time
    you seen a $9.00 an hour security guard with a trim fitted uniform? Get a

  • http://excoplawstudent.wordpress.com/ ExCop-LawStudent

    No, but they can tell you to leave the property, as she did. In most states, the property owner may also use force to eject a trespasser from the property, which would justify her pushing the one individual.

    Should she have done so? No. She should have called the local police and given trespass warnings.

  • Difdi

    Leave the property, yes. Leave a public street in front of the property? No.

  • nrgins

    Well, of course the mall is going to defend the security guard’s actions. That stupid SG already widely opened them up to lawsuit. They’re not going to help anyone who sues them by either admitting she was wrong or firing her. She have to put up good appearances for the sake of defending themselves against lawsuit.

  • vlhhwood1626

    She clearly wasn’t using force to eject this woman from the property. She facilitated her use of force through anger. You don’t need to run up and down in front of a group of people and chatter like a wet chicken, all you need to do is give clear concise directives, once these directives are ignored the Police should have been called.

    She was clearly not equipped or trained to handle this situation without Police intervention, nor should she have. Once she started to behave in this cartoonish and highly unprofessional manner, she lost all hope of gaining enough respect to properly control the situation. She also has NO legal right in ANY jurisdiction to confiscate cameras or force people to erase the footage.

  • http://excoplawstudent.wordpress.com/ ExCop-LawStudent

    That wasn’t a public street in front of the property.

    It was part of the mall property.

  • Elliott Whitlow

    Re-evaluating since I googled the wrong damn mall..

  • steveo

    pretty sure they were on the easement because I can see the utilities down the road. We had a case in Sarasota, where Whole Foods maintained that the sidewalk around their store was their sidewalk because they paid to have it put in. The ACLU attorney pulled the plats and it clearly showed that their property line started on the other side of the sidewalk.. Doesn’t matter who pays to put in the sidewalk. And sometimes the mall parking lot land is leased from the city or county and even that isn’t their land, but that would take some research.

    Trespass and loitering laws were the tools of choice to suppress the civil rights movement in the 1960’s. “We already fought and won that battle and the ACLU is committed to preserving it,” said local ACLU member.

    FL: 316.003 (47) defines “sidewalk” as the area from the curbline to the property line. The City gave out 6500 trespass warnings on that area in the last 4 years. Then the city manager said that they were going to come up with “an ironclad” trespassing ordinance. haven’t seen it yet though.

    And if you watch the SHARK guy’s video, the Pennsylvania ACLU wrote to the PSTate Police and told them if they try to keep him off the easements that they would initiate court action.

  • Difdi

    I stand corrected. Still, ejecting a trespasser is one thing…assaulting and/or battering someone, even a trespasser, simply to injure them or inflict pain rather than remove them from the property would still be illegal.

  • http://excoplawstudent.wordpress.com/ ExCop-LawStudent

    Hey, don’t feel bad. You should see some of the mistakes I’ve made in the past. It happens to all of us.

  • Elliott Whitlow

    At least I can admit I screwed up.. I am less certain now but I don’t think that where (I think) they are is CLEARLY private property, it could go either way and mall security is hardly smart enough to make such a determination.. We’d have to use a platt map to be sure.

  • Difdi

    Greater power (and don’t forget, knowledge is power) doesn’t stop you from making mistakes…it just ensures that any mistakes you do make are bigger.

  • Timothy Midgett

    Says “This video is private” when I hit the play button.

  • Phred

    This is frikkin’ hilarious! It’s like a Saturday Night Live skit. Counting to 10 like some clueless parent who can’t handle her children. And that ill-fitting uniform practically begs people to disrespect her. The mall may defend her publicly, but I bet they will make an effort to get her to resign quietly and quietly offer to pay off the woman who was assaulted.

  • http://www.facebook.com/joe.tucker.984 Joe Tucker

    they were in a public area

  • http://excoplawstudent.wordpress.com/ ExCop-LawStudent

    I disagree, but it is based on the information in the story (the mall stating it is their property) and my experience. The road literally rings the mall parking lot, and was almost certainly built with the mall. It is doubtful that it was dedicated to the city, so it would be private property.

    You are correct, the only way to be positive is to see the plat.

  • Virtualfrog

    You are all missing the most important thing here. Although she does not have the mirrored sunglasses she does have a beautiful “Smokey The Bear” hat. Therefore she is authorized to run roughshod over the criminal photogs.

    As far at the missfit uniform goes – she looks like she has spent to much time patroling the food court.

  • Elliott Whitlow

    I can see the road around the mall, and I would probably agree it is theirs, which is why I started trying to figure out where this video was taken, I posted a link further down to: https://maps.google.com/maps?q=Mall+Road,+St.+Clairsville,+OH+43950&hl=en&ll=40.066737,-80.863055&spn=0.001326,0.003259&sll=37.6,-95.665&sspn=44.482621,106.787109&t=h&hnear=Mall+Rd&z=19
    This particular area is questionable, built with the mall doesn’t mean owned by the mall. We also have the easement question. I think we are largely in agreement but my argument is very location dependent and I certainly could be wrong.

  • Elliott Whitlow

    I’d love to agree, but looking at aerial views of where I think it occurred it is not clear whether that is true. It isn’t cut and dried.

  • http://excoplawstudent.wordpress.com/ ExCop-LawStudent

    Elliott, I think Joe is making a common mistake, confusing an area accessible to the public with public property.

    He doesn’t understand that although an area may be accessible to the public, it doesn’t make it public property nor a public forum for purposes of the First Amendment. To do so would be to deprive the owners of their property rights under the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments. See Utah Gospel Mission v. Salt Lake City, 425 F.3d 1249 (10th Cir. 2005).

    If the road was mall property, then the mall has the right to limit photography, speech, etc.

  • http://www.plan8.tv Roanhouse

    WOW! Just … wow

  • Vlhhwood1626

    How old was she?

  • quadeddie

    The only appropriate response to the cop in my book would be “you gonna bark all day, little doggie… Or you gonna bite?”

  • Phillip D Breske

    I was under the impression that private property that is open to the public (malls, shopping centers, parking lots) becomes a de facto public space and is therefore subject to all the same rules as any public space. I may be wrong. I know the property owners can have you arrested for trespassing, but only after you have been warned by a competent law enforcement organization; i.e., the police.

    In this case, wouldn’t the argument in favor of taking pictures be the public’s right to know of a newsworthy event like the truck accident? Even if the mall security claims the right to prohibit picture-taking on its property, might an event such as this be deemed newsworthy enough to trump the private property claim? Especially if my original claim of a de facto public space bears out?

    Can anyone clear this up?

    Either way, there are very specific rules governing the conduct of private security. Some malls have “in-house” security while others use “contract” security firms. Both have similar rules of conduct. None of those rules allow for the security officers to manhandle a civilian unless they fear for their own safety.

    In my opinion, the mall owners are doing themselves a disservice by standing behind this officer’s actions. They should have distanced themselves immediately and sworn off any and all actions as inappropriate and fired her right away. By defending her actions, they are setting themselves up for a lawsuit as it appears they fully endorse the illegal actions of the officer. Bad idea.

    EDIT: After I got out of the military, I was for a short time a field supervisor for a contract security company. All of the officers in our company were just as dumb as this one. What do you expect for minimum wage?

  • Robert T

    It got really funny at the 1:47 mark when she started jumping up and down and shaking her fists.

  • http://excoplawstudent.wordpress.com/ ExCop-LawStudent

    Private property is private property, and while open to public access, is subject to the rules of the property owner. See Utah Gospel Mission v. Salt Lake City, 425 F.3d 1249 (10th Cir. 2005). It is not a public forum.

    Additionally, the conduct of private security is governed by statute in the state where they are operating. In most states, private security has the same authority as a private citizen, which means they can make citizen’s arrests and use force to eject someone from the property, in much the same way a bouncer can eject someone from a bar. Company policy may, and often does, limit what they should do, but it still is not a criminal offense.

  • http://www.facebook.com/O.J.TheJuiceSimpson David Howell


  • Joshua R. Kern

    Petty, wanna-be tyrants like this exist all over the place in this country. So pathetic and ineffectual in almost every other aspect of their life, they have to turn to some perception of authority to dominate other people.

  • Sean Michael Parsons

    She has the same infantile mentality of the average pig. Nothing but a bully and enforcement sadist, cowards to the core. They attempt to hide their cowardice by belligerency. The ranks are bloated with these scum.

  • steveo

    I’m researching trespassing in FL. I’ve found that this is a much more complicated subject than I originally thought. Every state is going to have its nuances about trespassing, I even found one case that seemed to protect newsgathering on a mall’s property(when St Pete sold the Baywalk to a property holder) which this situation seemed to be. But in FL, since trespassing is a misdemeanor, a leo would have to witness the trespassing or at least witness the people before they left the property, but I, at least, am still maintaining that they were on “sidewalk” because they were on the grassy part of the easement away from the mall.

    One of the best “easement” experts I’ve found on youtube is the SHARK (showing animals respect and kindness) guy. Who either won the lottery or is independently wealthy with his Mercedes’ Vans and drones. He is always being rousted by the leos wherever he goes. He even knows all the FAA rules concerning his what he calls “remote controlled aircraft” because the leos are always maintaining that he is violating FAA regulations.


    Give you a for instance on trespassing laws in FL, A posted sign, has to have the owners name and contact information on it to be valid, it can’t just say, “Posted No Trespassing”. I don’t think I’ve ever seen one with the owners name on it. So, if you are camping in Fl, just find some land either without a sign or one with a sign with no contact information and set up your camp, but bring an open holstered sidearm with you because it is legal to open carry a sidearm as long as you are going camping or fishing, but if the property owner sees you there he can legally kill you under the Fl stand your ground law. And Actually its better to be an agoraphobiac in Fl and always just stay inside. Certainly don’t go boating because then you really get into some fuxxked up laws. Because the bottom line is, the law is the law, but dead is still dead.

    Also, you can’t be trespassed up to the high water mark on any of the beaches in FL. And pretty much everywhere the high water mark can be proven to go all the way up to the property because of the occasional storm. (definition of “high water mark” is another subject of contention). Plus if a property owner “interferes” with the turtle people, they’ll get arrested. A hint, if you want to live on the beach, become a loggerhead turtle person who guards the nests and you can legally open carry.

    People have security guards all the time on the beach telling people they can’t walk past so and so’s property. Like Chris Rock says: “I wouldn’t do that shit”

  • steveo

    I think that salt lake case is a bad example because the first time the plantiff’s sued them over the easement question the court said We agreed, holding that the easement was a public forum upon which content-based restrictions on speech could not be enforced.

    But then the LDS went through some ridiculous scheme to sell the easement for 5 million dollars??? to a shell corporation and fence it off and calling the area “off limits” to the public even though it was part of main street in Salt Lake. (Why would you want to make part of a shopping center “OFF LIMITS” and for 5 million?) I think this is pretty unusual with most anywhere but with the Mormon church or maybe the Scientologists. But they did make the area off limits to the general public completely. Everybody who went there probably had to show their bona-fide Mormon card. Wonder why Romney didn’t get elected? (Momma, says you ain’t bona-fide.) This mall isn’t doing that.

    Plus,this road that goes around the mall might fall under what they called in that case “the public function doctrine”. Research would have to be done on who maintains the road. Also, many communities give bribes to companies like Walmart to build shopping by lessening taxes and impact fees and even giving public money to the property owner to build the business. That business is a public business for 1st Amendment purposes. Plus could the mall say, restrict the travel of african americans on that road, when they let everyone else travel freely?

    Maybe the LDS in Salt Lake City wants to get into these kinds of fights, but I don’t think a mall in Ohio wants to.

  • Boomer

    That’s perjury, Frog. I spend every minute of my day in the food court and I’ve NEVER seen her there, and I’ll thank you to correct that immediately, or I’ll have to sue you.

    The nerve of some people.

  • Virtualfrog

    She was undercover looking for kids chewing gum and blowing bubbles. She was dressed as a Person of Wal-Mart on the lose. She did catch a young mother taking picture of her cute child with and ice cream cone mustash.

  • http://excoplawstudent.wordpress.com/ ExCop-LawStudent

    Wow. I’m impressed with how you addressed the issues of the matter without stooping to infantile attacks that are based on emotions and personal biases. The ability to get to the core of the matter, without hiding behind a belligerent facade of cowardice shows that you will never join the ranks of the scum that attack without looking at the issues.

    Oh wait.

    Never mind.

  • Elliott Whitlow

    I’ve reviewed the aerial photos of this mall and it is an honest question if this area was on property and even if it was if it was easement. Short of a platt map we can’t tell clearly and without ambiguity.

  • http://excoplawstudent.wordpress.com/ ExCop-LawStudent

    The SHARK guy has lost way more cases then he’s won.

  • Boomer

    So *that* was her? I just thought it was a creepy kid-stalker. I retract my threat of litigation, and beg your forgiveness.

  • http://excoplawstudent.wordpress.com/ ExCop-LawStudent

    You don’t have proof beyond a reasonable doubt of battery “simply to injure”. All you have is your opinion, which is somewhat biased.

  • steveo

    I used to do underground work for a utility and we used to pull permits. I never saw a road that didn’t have easements on both sides of the road. Usually it’s about 13 ft on either side of a road, which makes sense because where else are you going to put your electric, water, sewer, cable, and telephone?

    If a property owner could trespass a utility worker from the easement, there are other people in the public that are affected, therefore that area is probably going to fit in with the 1st Amendment and time, place and manner restrictions. The more “public” the area, the less right someone or the state has to censor newsgathering.

  • jch9596

    That’s actually why I am surprised her employer defended her rather than relieving her of her duties. She handled it all wrong and there should be no defending of that.

  • jch9596

    20 seconds in when she told them to leave and they didn’t, she should have called the local police. It was obvious they weren’t going to leave.

  • Elliott Whitlow

    I generally agree with your point. The potential issue I see and only a platt map could show is whether this is a private road or a public road. The driveway MAY not be a city road. I don’t know. In the case it IS a private road then where the easements are and the property line are matter. Unfortunately things we can’t easily determine here.

  • Elliott Whitlow

    I agree, instead she lost all credibility..

  • Phred

    You can’t restore credibility where none existed to begin with.

  • Kevin Sharkey

    I love people’s broad and erroneous definition of ‘assault’ LMAO. Way to help the guy in thye ditch everyone. F-in rednecks.

  • Difdi

    Which would likely end with you in handcuffs — either the guard’s or the cops. If you win the fight, you’ll get to find out what assault & battery charges are like.

    A security guard ejecting a trespasser from private property is engaged in lawful behavior, so long as the force is restricted to what is necessary for the ejection. Fighting a security guard that is trying to eject you is just like fighting a bouncer, it’s an illegal act and even if you win, you lose.

  • Difdi

    My opinion is less biased than yours is.

    Security guard shoved citizen, citizen shoved back and security guard tried to wrestle the citizen to the ground. Guard tried and failed to draw pepper spray, then tried and failed to handcuff citizen.

    If the guard had intended to escort the citizen off the property, then a come-along type hold would be in order, not a shove. Instead, the guard lost her temper and assaulted someone. She then attempted to batter that person (pepper spray for certain and arguably the wrestling).

    Certain types of attacks must be in self-defense or they are criminal acts. The video itself shows an act of assault by the guard followed by the citizen acting in self-defense against excessive force. No bias needed to know the guard was in the right up to that point.

    Last I checked, you only need probable cause for an arrest for someone committing a crime. If you needed beyond a reasonable doubt, no one could ever be arrested unless they turned themselves in with signed confession in hand.

  • Elliott Whitlow

    While true she shredded the possibility of finding any either..

  • Republic RISING

    I need some backup! I need some backup! Officer down …Oops I mean Officer Dumb.
    Please send a supervisor and a hurt ego doctor…
    LMAO – was that Barneydette Fife?

    Republic RISING ~ http://intro.jointhedejurerepublic.com/index.php

  • mikessp

    She has the right to prohibit photography on the private property she is charged to protect. She has absolutely no right to touch anyone to prevent it.

  • DumbGuardOverstepped

    Oh man, that security guard doesn’t realize that her plastic badge only gives her the authority to be joke fodder.

  • Elliott Whitlow

    True, provided they actually were in a place that she legally had control of, we don’t know that as a fact at this point.
    You are absolutely right that she had no right or authority to get violent.

  • Bob Dohse

    It’s apparently fixed now. Interesting viewing.

  • quadeddie

    Reservoir dogs reference… not meant to be straight opinion.