Walmart employee charged with assaulting customer

CAMDEN — An 18-year-old Walmart employee was arrested Sunday afternoon after he allegedly followed a 62-year-old customer outside and assaulted him after an incident at a checkout register, Camden Police said in an arrest affidavit.

Desmond J. Stevens, of the 2000 block of South State Street in Dover, was working as a cashier when he allegedly told a 62-year-old customer paying for items that “he gets off work at 3 p.m. and will whip his (expletive) outside,” an investigating officer wrote in court documents.

The customer (whose name was redacted in court documents) reportedly walked outside through a grocery door exit and “(Mr.) Stevens walked up to him and began punching him in the face with a closed fist,” police alleged.

On Monday, Walmart spokesman Casey Steheli said “The person in question is no longer with the company. Any further questions should be directed towards law enforcement.”

Police said the customer was seen with blood filling his left eye “as a result of the alleged physical confrontation.

“(The customer) had substantial pain as a result of being hit and falling to the ground.”

Camden Police Chief William E. Bryson said Walmart Loss Prevention personnel pulled the employee away from the customer. The customer was transported to Bayhealth-Kent General Hospital in Dover for a medical evaluation, police said.

Mr. Stevens was charged with misdemeanor second-degree assault of a person over 62 years of age.

He was presented at Justice of the Peace Court 7 in Dover and released on $5,000 unsecured bond. A preliminary hearing was scheduled for 8:30 a.m. Friday in the Kent County Court of Common Pleas in Dover.

The time of the offense at 263 Walmart Drive was listed as 3:44 p.m. in an affidavit.

The arrest report did not indicate who contacted police.

The alleged sequence began when the customer was checking out at register 16 and paying with a personal check, police said. The customer said Mr. Stevens asked for his telephone number, and the man told him the number was listed on his check.

The customer then claimed that “(Mr.) Stevens then told him he doesn’t have to take this crap. (The customer) said he told (Mr.) Stevens that he needs to respect the customers.”

The investigating police officer said he viewed store surveillance footage and watched Mr. Stevens “walk up to (the customer) outside of the exit doors and began punching him several times.”

Police said Mr. Stevens was positively identified through the Delaware Justice Information System and he matched his driver’s license and information with information provided by Walmart management.

“The video surveillance footage also matched (Mr.) Stevens,” police said.

Reach staff writer Craig Anderson at canderson@newszap.com

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