Woman claims illegal detention at Galveston Wal-Mart

John Suayan, Galveston Bureau Jul. 11, 2011, 6:30am

GALVESTON � Complaining that Wal-Mart Stores Inc. illegally detained her, Patricia Silva pursues legal action against the discount retailer.

Silvia claims Galveston police officers at the defendant's store held her for about an hour on March 15, 2010, because of an incident involving a female companion of hers, according to a lawsuit filed June 9 in Galveston County District Court.

The plaintiff insists she nor her companion Tiffany Pena stole anything from the business.

Pena is not a plaintiff in the suit.

The suit states Silva and Pena went to Wal-Mart to purchase items for Silva's grandfather, who had recently suffered a stroke. Silva claims they were followed by an unknown woman the entire time they were in the store.

She claims Pena became so agitated with the unknown woman's presence that she wondered aloud what the woman was looking at before putting her items down and storming out of the store.

Silva states she remained inside and noticed the woman continued to follow her.

After about an hour, Silva says she checked out and was leaving the premises when two unidentified Galveston police officers approached her and asked her to step into a nearby room.

According to Silva, authorities asked her about Pena getting upset and throwing some of her items to the floor prior to making her exit.

After a warrant check, police told the plaintiff that she should not be out in public and detained her.

The suit further explains that the officers also approached Pena � who was already in her vehicle waiting for Silva � and held her for theft, terroristic threats and trespassing.

Silva contends that police were verbally abusive toward Pena.

Consequently, the plaintiff seeks unspecified monetary damages and a jury trial.

She is represented by attorney Anthony P. Griffin of Galveston.

The case has been assigned to Galveston County 122nd District Court Judge John Ellisor.

Case No. 11-cv-917

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