OAKLAND, Calif. -- A violent incident at a Whole Foods store in Oakland, California has cost a security guard his job and nearly cost a customer his life.
Police received a call at 9:42 p.m. from Oakland fire officials about an unconscious man at the grocery store, police spokeswoman Johnna Watson said.
Oakland resident Zoe Marks says she couldn't believe her eyes at first, when a confrontation between a customer and an armed security guard escalated inside the Whole Foods store Thursday night.
"We saw a young man who was trying to buy groceries and engaged in some sort of verbal interchange with the checkout cashier," Marks said. "He was confronted by the security guard, told to leave the premises and then actually physically accosted, thrown against a wall, and then told he had to go to customer service. He was trying to escape the security guard, thrown against the wall again. He ended up, at the end of the altercation, face down on the pavement in a pool of his own blood."
Marks took pictures immediately after the incident of the young man on the ground that showed the man was bleeding from the head and face.
Marks said she and other customers called 911, while store employees appeared to do little, except to lock the front doors of the building.
"I don't think ending up face down unconscious on the pavement in a pool of your own blood and leaving the grocery store on a stretcher is ever justified," Marks said.
"The graphic images circulating on Facebook and Twitter are disturbing to say the least," a Whole Foods spokesperson told ABC affiliate KGO-TV. "The security guard involved in the incident has been permanently removed from Whole Foods Market."
Police confirm they are also investigating an assault at the store and say the injured man is in stable condition.
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Whole Foods fires security guard accused of attacking shopper