2 sought in recorded 'unprovoked' assault at Flint Township mall
Authorities confirmed Thursday they are investigating a man’s assault at a Flint Township mall this week that was caught on camera and viewed widely online.
Macy’s officials “are deeply saddened about the incident that took place on Monday” at its Genesee Valley Center location since “customers and colleagues is our top priority,” Andrea Schwartz, a spokeswoman for the retailer, said in a statement.
"All the materials from the evening have been reviewed and it is clear that the attack was unprovoked," said Schwartz. “We take these situations very seriously and are working closely with local authorities on this investigation, deferring all comments about the case to them per policy.”
Township police said they are seeking two people in connection with the incident: a man seen punching someone and a companion who filmed the encounter.
“We have the video,” Police Sgt. Matt VanLente told The Detroit News. “We’re actively investigating it.”
Anyone with tips is asked to call township police detectives at (810) 600-3250.
Since the incident, Macy’s and mall management “have added additional security to ensure our customers and colleagues can safely enjoy their shopping experience,” Schwartz said in an email.
Video of the attack went viral after it was posted Monday on the Facebook page of a man known as FT Quay who has released rap songs online.
The 18-second clip (Editor's note: Includes repeated use of a racial slur and profanity) starts with what appears to show a man striking another man in the head near a clothing display.
One man wearing a dark facial mask is seen falling to the floor as the other stands over him.
“What did you do that for?” the fallen man is heard asking as the other approaches.
When the man on the floor raises his arm, the second one says: “Don’t touch me (expletive).”
As the first man responds that he didn’t and remains on the ground, his hand appears to brush the other's left side. The suspect punches him at least twice, noting the blows “hurt."
Before the video ends, the victim is seen trying to move away while saying, “I’m sorry.”
In a post accompanying the footage, the Facebook poster going under the name FT Quay said his “bro” had asked the man assaulted at the store if a shirt looked too small.
The man “kept talking on the phone” and allegedly used a racial slur when describing the interaction to the caller, he wrote in the Facebook post. “(He) thought we ain’t hear em because his mask was on.”
FT Quay, who wrote he only posted part of the footage, did not immediately respond to a request for comment Thursday.
The video has had more than 1,600 shares through his page. A YouTube post of the clip had been watched more than 6,000 times through Thursday evening. It was also viewed nearly 675,100 times on a Twitter user’s page and has attracted news coverage as far away as New Zealand.
The video follows another recent incident that allegedly took place at Genesee Valley Center.
A Facebook post by Tasia Leeper on May 30 shows two women fighting at a mall. In her post, Leeper said she does not know the people, but that she had a good view.
The two-minute video shows two women tussling and punching each other outside of a closed Jimmy Jazz store as a group of women stand by.
A man tries to intervene, but is blocked by one of the onlookers.
One woman can be heard saying, “Don’t mess with them. They need to get this over with.”
The two women are eventually separated by the onlookers and walk separate ways.
A call to mall manager Gary Thomas was not immediately returned.