Wacky Walmart | WTF Wednesday #6
Hey, little skeletons! I’m Gina – And I’m Amber! – and this is Weird True Crime!
Gina: Hey Amber, do you remember that website, peopleofwalmart.com?
Amber: Oh yes, I was always terrified I was going to wind up on there for some reason or another… irrational fear probably because I don’t think my wardrobe ever consisted of anything remotely resembling something that would earn someone a spot on there… and I would actually have had to go to Walmart as well…. Oh well, anxiety is fun though.
Gina: Just be thankful you didn’t end up with your very own Walmart Rap Sheet like our guests today!
Amber: Before we dive in, let’s hear today’s riddle: “A truck driver is going down a one-way street in the wrong direction. A police car drives past him but doesn’t stop him. Why?” Stay tuned to the end to find out the answer!
(1)Gina: Up first on our Dumbass Criminals of Walmart list is 32-year-old Verdon Lamont Taylor. The people of a Walmart in Exton, Pennsylvania got an unexpected eyeful one Wednesday night back in 2012. According to reports and surveillance footage, the 6’4”, 300lb man stripped off his clothes in the parking lot forcing cars to swerve around him before he decided to stroll inside in his birthday suit. He approached the customer service desk before he pilfered a package of socks, nonchalantly put them on, and sauntered deeper into the store. He continued his easy, breezy stroll until he was inevitably confronted by police. Taylor refused to comply with a police officer’s orders to leave the store and he ended up tased after allegedly spitting at the officer’s face. Surveillance footage inside the store also shows customers doing everything they could to avoid the very large, very naked man. He was arraigned on charges of indecent exposure, aggravated assault, simple assault, retail theft, receiving stolen property, and disorderly conduct. That’s quite the list of offenses over a couple of… socks? Court records also showed that he had prior convictions for disorderly conduct and public urination and defecation. We can only hope that he finally learned to keep his clothes on while out in public.
Amber: Wonder what he had gone to the customer service desk for? Maybe he needed help opening the stolen package of socks since he was au naturel.
Gina: Police later said that after he had been tased and restrained, as they loaded him up in the ambulance he was just babbling and talking incoherently. According to West Whiteland Detective Scott Pezick, “He was making some references that caused us to believe there was a substance abuse issue.” I think we’ve said it before, but we’ll say it again: drugs are bad, m’kay.
(2)Amber: Hey, you know what’s even better than Florida Man? Florida WOman – of Walmart! During one of our previous dumbass criminal episodes, you may recall a woman having some fun on an electric shopping cart sipping some wine out of an interesting beverage vessel… Well, she is not to be outdone by a 20-year-old woman in Florida, Josseleen Lopez, who took her drinking motorized escapades inside her Walmart. On December 22, 2015, a report from one of the employees stated that he witnessed Lopez grab a box of sushi from a shelf, eat a piece, and then put it back on the shelf. Ewwwww. Some unfortunate cinnamon rolls and mini muffins received the same treatment as the sushi did. It was also noted that a half-empty bottle of wine was in her cart and she carried around a rotisserie chicken, consuming the majority of it while motoring around the store.
Gina: At least she didn’t use a Pringles can! Also I don’t know that I’d trust sushi from Walmart. Eeeeek.
Amber: So true. She did rack up a bill totaling $32.36 worth of food and wine she had consumed while in the store though. When questioned by police, she stated that she knew what she was doing wrong, but she was hungry and didn’t want to take the food outside of the store. When she was put under arrest and searched, the police found an empty syringe in her purse and another in her backpack. She confessed that she had used them to shoot up meth earlier. We’ll reiterate here kids, drugs are bad, okay? At the end of her Walmart adventure, she was charged with shoplifting and drug paraphernalia. I know I’ve heard other horror stories of people on meth, so thankfully this particular case just involved the munchies.
(3)Gina: For our next one, the stars of the show will be the Rutherford High football team in Panama City, Florida back in 2013. The team headed to the Walmart located in Callaway, Florida to try to raise money to help fund some new uniforms. They were stationed outside the store in a typical “shake the can” fundraiser fashion to try to get some spare change from the shoppers leaving. The term “fundraiser” should be applied loosely here as really it’s a glorified way of begging for money. I digress. As they were doing their thing, a policeman requested their assistance in pursuing a suspected shoplifter.
Amber: Wait, a police officer asked high school students to help him catch a thief? Alright. You know what, I almost forgot that we’re talking about Walmart here for a second.
Gina: Yep! It took a moment for the students to realize the cop was being serious as well, but once they did, they sprang into action. Eight different teens chased after the suspected thief through the inside of the store. I don’t know about you, but even on a good day, I wouldn’t try to outrun a high school football player. One of the students eventually caught up with the thief and wrestled him to the ground. The thief tried his best to escape the teens even taking a swing at one of them, but was unsuccessful. The local police were able to take control of the situation and booked the robber. A witness statement said, “All of a sudden we looked and of course there’s a cop there and a guy comes flying in and tells the boys to go after him.” I can only assume, but I’m pretty sure that their coach was probably not expecting their fundraising event to go down the way it did. It just goes to show that you never know what to expect shopping at Walmart!
(4)Amber: If this next one doesn’t make you weary of using public restrooms, especially in Walmart, I don’t know what will. Oh, April Fools’ Day: the day so many enjoy wreaking havoc on their friends and family with (hopefully) innocent pranks. It is a day that makes even me nervous about the most normal of situations. In Elkton, Maryland back in 2011 a 48-year-old man ventured into his Walmart and used the facilities, one of those mundane and sometimes unavoidable activities while shopping. Unfortunately, his experience on the loo was nothing even remotely mundane. The poor man sat down to do his business and soon realized he quite literally couldn’t get off the toilet.
Gina: Wait, he was stuck to the toilet seat?
Amber: Yeah… it turns out that someone had put super glue on the toilet seat as a seemingly innocent April Fools’ prank supposedly. Rational thought had clearly left the building by whoever decided this was going to be an innocent, funny prank. After trying, unsuccessfully, to get up from the toilet seat, the poor man called for help. Some sources say he called the police himself, and others say that an employee heard him yelling and made the call. Regardless, when police and paramedics arrived on the scene, they attempted to extract him from the seat, but unfortunately, after 15 minutes they were not successful and ended up just removing him with the seat still attached so he could be transported to the hospital. Thankfully, the doctors were able to remove the super-glued toilet seat from his ass leaving only minor injuries. As I’m sure some of you know, super glue (or surgical glue) is actually used to keep wounds closed in hospitals so it is quite effective in forming bonds.
Gina: That poor man. Did they ever catch who did it?
Amber: Unfortunately, no. Police did confirm though that if they ever did catch who was responsible for doing so, they would be facing charges of second-degree assault. What’s even more unfortunate is that this wasn’t the last time someone would fall victim to this very same “prank.” A little over two months later, a woman in Kentucky also found herself adhered to the toilet seat in her Walmart. Paramedics were called to the scene after someone heard her screaming. Finally, after over an hour, they were able to remove her from the toilet, unfortunately with the seat still attached to her as well. I don’t know about you, but I use public bathrooms as little as possible, and all this solidifies my debate about never using one again!
(5)Gina: So throughout the United States, and I’m sure there are similar programs elsewhere, Police Departments have fundraisers throughout the year to help fund their “Shop With A Cop” charity event that occurs around Christmas. For the Charles County Police Department in Maryland, back in 2011, it was their 4th year running the program.
Amber: Shop with a cop… so like literally walk around the store with a police officer who buys you things?
Gina: For Charles County, they have 75+ children chosen based on need and recommendations by the public schools. These kids roll up to the store accompanied by the police officer who volunteered and are given a $200 budget to buy whatever they need/want. One of the organizers of the event said “A lot of [the] time, the kids will get things for their siblings, for their parents, and they won’t really care about getting things for themselves – they just want to help out others, which is nice.”
Amber: That sounds awesome! Kids get an opportunity to spend time with a police officer so they get an understanding that cops don’t just arrest people and take them to jail – that they’re actually people themselves who care!
Gina: Exactly! The kids get to have a blast riding around in the police cars with the sirens blaring and lights on – even adults want to be able to experience that (without, you know, being arrested.)
Amber: Totally – and for a moment here, I forgot we were talking about Walmart… so I can’t even imagine where this is going…
Gina: Don’t worry – on this particular day, the cops and kids are just fine. The dumbassery lies with 22-year-old Timothy Randall Clark. So, on this day, 50 patrol cars roll up with cops and children who stroll into the building and begin their $200 shopping spree. Kids get to choose whatever they want for whoever they want and towards the holidays they’re looking to get the perfect gift for themselves and their loved ones! Video games, toys, all that are very popular choices – apparently for Mr. Clark as well. Walmart store security officers watched as Timothy Clark snuck into a back room and proceeded to slice open boxes that contained PlayStation and Xbox video games. He allegedly proceeded to stuff the 26 video games, two controllers, and various other accessories into his pants and sweatshirt. Let that sink in for a second. There is no way that this dude didn’t happen to notice the copious amounts of cop cars in the parking lot, or the uniformed officers strolling around the store, and he decided that exact moment was the best time to shoplift.
Amber: My brain. It hurts.
Gina: Same here. When Timothy Clark proceeded to try to make his way to the exit stuffed with loot, the security officers alerted the shopping sheriff’s deputies who paused their spending spree. Clark was arrested and charged with theft for his whopping $635 worth of loot. Needless to say, the kids got a shopping spree and a show that day!
(6)Amber: This next story actually comes straight from the People of Walmart website… Before I dive in, I just want to preface this with the fact that the parking lot of Walmart can truly be like the Wild Wild West. I don’t know if it’s just a Texas thing, or if birds flock to the parking lots of Walmarts all over the United States. Trying to find a parking space that is close enough to the doors, but far enough away from the birds taking a constant dump on your car is enough to tire you out and make you go to Target. Anyway, for 77-year-old Evelyn Danesi, a parking space was enough to get into a heated argument with a stranger over in the Walmart parking lot.
Gina: Hey those spots that aren’t in the direct line of poop from all the freaking birds or a mile from the store are precious. I’d probably get in a fight over a parking spot, too.
Amber: I’m way past the stage of driving around for a ridiculous amount of time to get a good parking spot myself these days. I’ll park out in BFE and walk my ass up to the store – walking is better exercise than nothing these days anyway. Back in 2012, an older man (unsure of his exact age at the time, but one source had said he was also in his 70s) by the name of Harold Koller claimed that he reached the parking spot in question before Evelyn had – which she was not in agreement with and none too pleased about. In retaliation, she keyed Harold’s car. Harold then called the police and reported the incident, but instead of waiting around for officers to arrive, witnesses to the whole event reported that Evelyn drove off – straight into Harold.
Gina: Well that’s an appropriate reaction! Poor man. You’d think that she’d try going in the opposite direction if she was avoiding the police coming.
Amber: Seriously. Harold stated that he got cuts on his hands from holding on for dear life to the hood of Evelyn’s car while she drove recklessly through the parking lot making sharp turns and running over curbs. Koller had said “I was laying on the hood. And I couldn’t breathe. And I pleaded with her to just stop.” Bystanders finally cornered Evelyn to make her stop and Harold was able to safely get off the hood of the car. She told police that she was afraid that Harold was going to do her harm and that is why she attempted to flee the scene. The woman had keyed his car – he was just wanting her to stick around so he could get her information to get his car fixed!
Gina: At least the bystanders were able to get her to stop before Harold was seriously injured.
Amber: No kidding. At the end of it all, Evelyn Danesi was charged with criminal mischief and assault with a deadly weapon. I swear, by the end of this episode, I’m never going to want to go to Walmart again.
(7) Gina: Hey Amber, did you know that they used to make a $10,000 dollar bill?
Amber: I think I’ve heard that before… seems excessive though. Can’t imagine going into a store and trying to use that and asking for change… Yeah, can I get $20 on pump 3, along with a bag of Funyuns and a Pepsi? Do you have change for $10,000?
Gina: Exactly. The $10,000 dollar bill was discontinued in 1969 due to lack of public use – along with the $500, $1,000, and $5,000 dollar bills. The highest bill in circulation since then has been the $100 dollar bill. Which apparently wasn’t common knowledge to Michael Anthony Fuller in November 2011. He walked into the Walmart in Lexington, North Carolina, where he proceeded to shop for a vacuum cleaner, a microwave, and a few other things totaling roughly $476. When he reached the register, he handed the cashier a $1,000,000 bill, insisting it was real.
Amber: Bet that was the last thing the cashier expected to handle that day at work. I would have been looking around for hidden cameras and Ashton Kutcher to jump out somewhere at that point.
Gina: The store employees called the police when Fuller continued to insist the bill was real. Seriously, a ONE-MILLION DOLLAR BILL. He really must have been expecting the $999,524 in change back. He was later charged with attempting to obtain property by false pretense and uttering a forged instrument which are both felonies. In February of the following year, both of those charges were willingly dismissed and in court documents, Assistant District Attorney Greg Brown wrote that they were being dismissed in the interest of justice and competency questions.
Amber: Competency questions… poor dude must have had some underlying issues going on.
Gina: Must have… even though the original two charges were dismissed, he still was pending two charges of counts of felony malicious conduct by a prisoner and a misdemeanor charge of assault on a government official. In North Carolina, malicious conduct by a prisoner is defined as: “ (a) Any prisoner who knowingly and willfully throws, emits, or causes to be used as a projectile, any bodily fluids, excrement, or unknown substance at an employee, while the employee is in the performance of the employee’s duties, is guilty of a Class F felony. (b) Any prisoner who knowingly and willfully exposes genitalia to an employee while the employee is in the performance of the employee’s duties is guilty of a Class I felony.” so yeah… doesn’t sound like he was on his best behavior after the arrest.
(8) Amber: Look, I’ll be the first to admit that I have once or twice used the threat that I was going to sell one of my children on like, Etsy, you know since they’re technically handmade after all… but regardless of how angry they make me, I’ll never follow through! Idle threats are all I have sometimes, ok? Don’t at me.
Gina: I have 100% done the same thing. I feel like threatening to sell them is still more lighthearted than some other things we could say in our angrier moments. But of course I would never actually do anything but love them and spoil them rotten.
Amber: On June 22, 2010, 20-year-old Samantha Tomasini of Salinas, California, and her boyfriend, 38-year-old Patrick Fousek were standing outside their local Walmart where they attempted to sell their 8-month-old daughter.
Gina: Of all places to try to sell your child, you’re probably not going to get the highest bids there – just sayin’.
Amber: Oh, you’re not wrong. According to witnesses, they were trying to pawn the baby off for a whopping $25.00. It will come as no surprise when I tell you that Fousek and Tomasini heavily used methamphetamines and appeared high on meth when the police arrived at their home to arrest them. Patrick Fousek’s lawyer argued that the whole thing was just a misunderstanding and that he was just joking about selling the child. Fortunately, he was convicted of child endangerment and possession of drug paraphernalia and received the maximum penalty he could – 6 years in prison. Tomasini on the other hand pleaded no contest to child endangerment and was sentenced to four years’ probation and placed in rehab.
Gina: Please tell me the baby wasn’t subjected to either of their excellent parenting skills after that?
Amber: Child Protective Services got involved and, according to records, Tomasini told them that she had breastfed the infant while she was under the influence of drugs. Smart choices definitely were not made… The baby was put up for adoption and she is now hopefully living her best life away from all the drugs and $25 price tag.
(9) Gina: Returning items to the store is a pain in the ass. Let’s face it sometimes it is easier to just keep the item you don’t need rather than return it.
Amber: I’m pretty sure I have a stack somewhere of crap that was wrong/defective or whatever that I just refused to hassle with taking it back, especially if returning it required me to leave my house.
Gina: What makes it even harder to deal with is if you don’t have that pesky receipt showing proof of purchase. 37-year-old Jarad S. Carr went into the Walmart in Lake Hallie, Wisconsin to return a printer, but unfortunately didn’t have a receipt to go along with it. Since he couldn’t prove he had purchased the printer from them, they refused to refund his money. Carr insisted to employees that they were wrong and he refused to leave the store. Upon inspecting the printer, the workers discovered something very interesting left in it.
Amber: Lemme guess, was it drugs? Always seems to be drugs.
Gina: No, not drugs this time… What they did find was a printed page of $100 dollar bills in the printer. Clearly fake $100 bills. Carr even tried to barter with the employees at the customer service center saying that he would even take a partial refund. The police arrived on the scene and attempted to question Carr who resisted arrest and a struggle broke out. Thankfully, he was eventually apprehended without anyone getting injured and after conducting a search on him, the police found another $300 in homemade money he had on him. Carr was charged with attempted theft by fraud, forgery, and resisting arrest.
Amber: I wonder if he really did purchase the printer there in the first place or what?
Gina: Who knows? The police chief, Cal D. Smokowicz, told NBC News: “You go to a Walmart with a printer to return and no receipt, with your counterfeit bills still lodged in it, and you want to dicker with the clerks to get half price back, when you have warrants out for you. There are a few lessons here about not drawing attention to yourself.” Turns out he was also wanted on burglary and armed robbery warrants from St. Croix County. He definitely wasn’t using his brain that day.
(10) Amber: Normally the elderly don’t make our lists very often, but today we have two. Our second geriatric wacky Walmart winner goes by the name of Walter Thomas Ellison.
Gina: Ooh nice alliteration there. We usually save the best for last, so this one ought to be good.
Amber: Poop, drugs, and car chase – oh my. On November 27, 2012, the Port Isabel Police Department in Texas got a phone call reporting a hit and run from a woman in a Walmart parking lot saying that a two-door red Mercedes-Benz had struck her vehicle as she pulled into the lot. Oddly enough, only minutes after receiving the first phone call, the police received a second phone call from the store itself this time reporting a male subject that had allegedly exposed himself inside the store. Cesar Garcia, a Port Isabel Police Officer, connected the man who exposed himself and the driver of the red Mercedes were the same person and made his way to assist a fellow officer in pursuit. The man, identified as Walter Thomas Ellison, had led the police on a small car chase where they finally apprehended him without incident.
Gina: Well, there’s the car chase. Do I dare ask where the poop and drugs come into play?
Amber: So, after they arrested Ellison, they discovered he had a small amount of marijuana on him. And as for the poop? According to Chief Gonzalez, he said that Ellison had soiled himself and went into Walmart to get himself new pants… which is where he dropped trou, exposing himself to fellow shoppers in the men’s department for a new pair of pants off the rack. After an employee approached Ellison, he fled, jumped into his car, and struck the woman’s vehicle as he tried to leave his poopy pants behind.
Gina: They don’t pay Walmart employees enough to clean up that sort of mess for sure.
Amber: Exactly. Walter Thomas Ellison was booked on one charge of indecent exposure, one charge of driving while intoxicated, one charge of causing an accident involving damage, and possession of marijuana – each charge a Class B Misdemeanor. He had been previously cited for a DWI in 2007 and the suspension on his Texas Driver’s License was lifted in 2010. I think another lesson we can learn here is it’s never a bad idea to keep a change of clothes with you.
Gina: Walmart sure has everything – from clothes to household items and dumbass criminals galore. Before we say goodbye, have you figured out the riddle answer yet? Here it is one more time: “A truck driver is going down a one-way street in the wrong direction. A police car drives past him but doesn’t stop him. Why?” The answer? Because he isn’t driving down the street – he’s walking. Let us know if you figured it out! What was your favorite Wacky Walmart story today? Do you have your own story you’d like to share with us? We’d love to hear it so be sure to send it (and any other spooky tales or true crime stories or even just a hello) to our email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Be one of the cool kids and leave us a review on your listening app of choice – sometimes those get filtered for us though and we can’t see them. Send those on over to our email too and we’ll give you a shout-out on a future episode!
Amber: Exciting things are on the horizon for our little corner of chaos and we just want to take a moment to thank you for joining us on our journey. If you haven’t gotten enough of us, go check out our website weirdtruecrime.com to see past episodes, pictures, and more. All of our other social links can be found in our bio so you can follow us on the TikToks and Instagrams – and even join our Facebook group – Weird True Crime Podast! Next week we are covering a little more of a current case that I have been following since the very beginning so be sure to tune in then!
Until next time, stay safe – and make good choices – byeeeeeee………. byebye.