Admitted Walmart shoplifter says customer ‘should be punished’ for tackling him

Posted at 2:40 PM, Dec 13, 2018
and last updated 2018-12-13 14:40:44-05

GREENFIELD, Wis. - A customer at a Wisconsin Walmart  tackled Christopher Simpson as he was trying to walk out of the store with stolen video games and held him down until police arrived. Simpson says he's sorry for what he did but he wants to know: did he need to be tackled over it - or was that a job better left to police?

Security footage obtained by WITI shows the Simpson getting tackled as he tried to leave the Walmart.

"Me and my girlfriend decided to steal some video games from the place, and I was the one to walk out with them and she was to come out behind me," said  Christopher Simpson. "I'm unemployed and I guess I needed the money, or the merchandise or whatever, but that's no excuse for my criminal behavior."

Simpson admits to shoving ten to 15 video games in his coat valued at $275. He tried to fly by a security officer.

"One thing led to another and he threw me into the Redbox machine and busted that," Simpson said.

A shopper and former high school football defensive lineman made the tackle.

"I hit the floor with my head and basically after that he put me down and he laid on top of me. I could barely breathe," said Simpson.

Simpson has a lengthy criminal record but says it's the first time he's ever tried to steal.

"I was just trying to make it out of there alive. I don't know what possessed this guy to do this," said Simpson.

The shopper held Simpson in place until police arrived.

"The suspect said he was going to have me arrested for assaulting him," said Mark Hammer, the man that tackled Simpson. "I told him well I'm not assaulting you I'm just holding you until the cops get here."

"I think what he did was wrong and he should be punished for it," Simpson said.

Simpson was treated for a bumped head and possible bruised ribs before being taken to jail. He's now out on bond.

"This would've turned out differently if I was seriously injured because he wouldn't have walked away clean," said Simpson.

Simpson's girlfriend was also cited for retail theft.

"We're trying to find jobs right now so we don't do things like this," Simpson said.

Greenfield police do not condone taking the law into your own hands in Greenfield. Christopher Simpson was charged with one misdemeanor count of retail theft and pleaded not guilty.