Women shopping alone with daughters report being targeted at stores

By  | 

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) -- It is a disturbing scenario playing out at big box stores in the Springfield, Missouri area: Women say they are being followed and made to feel threatened and very uncomfortable.

"My daughter's 18 months old, so we need diapers, wipes, food and snacks," said Julina Foss.

But a quick trip to a Walmart for some necessities Tuesday night took a scary turn for the young mother.

"As I was getting ready to put her in the cart and snap her in, two guys came up right beside us, just hounding us, and one of them put her hand on her. 'Shes so cute. She's so beautiful,' and I looked at them and said, 'Please don't touch her,'" Foss said.

Managers at the store said it was all captured on security footage, and they have the men's faces on camera. Unfortunately, they did not know about the incident until Foss called them to report it Wednesday morning.

"He goes, 'Oh, you got muscles. Can you flex for me?' and I looked at him, and I said, 'That's too inappropriate. Don't touch me.' Well, they started following me, and they followed me all the way through until probably about where the diapers were and went their own separate ways, but I felt very uncomfortable about the situation," Foss said.

The incident Foss recounted is not the only one of its kind in recent days. Young mothers, shopping alone with their daughters, have shared similar accounts, unconfirmed yet through official sources, on social media.

Authorities say if this happens to you, they want you to report it.

"I won't be going in the evening, and I'll definitely make sure I have someone else with me," Foss said.

A manager at the Walmart store in question said anytime a customer feels threatened, they can report it to a store employee. The store has security workers who will escort you as you shop and to your car if needed.

As for the description of the two men captured on camera: Foss said one of the men was very short, heavy set, had gray hair, glasses and missing front teeth. The other man was middle-aged with crooked teeth.

Read the original version of this article at ky3.com.