Masked Assailant Pistol-Whips, Robs Woman in Shopping Center Parking Lot
In a possible case of negligent security, a masked assailant beat and robbed a woman outside of a shopping center in Cobb County on Saturday, August 19, according to Fox 5 Atlanta. The man pistol-whipped the woman and took her purse, according the victim. The woman has asked news sources not to identify her because police have yet to apprehend any suspects and the attacker remains at large. There are currently no reports that the woman required hospitalization or that her current medical condition is serious.
Catherine’s Surveillance Camera Didn’t Capture Crime
The attack occurred in the parking lot outside of a Catherine’s on the East-West Connector in Austell after 4 o’clock on Saturday. After the victim’s mother went inside the store to shop, the victim remained sitting in the car in the parking lot. A masked man opened the door to the car, got in, sat down, and ordered her to drive. The woman refused, at which point the masked man beat her on the head, shoulders, and arms with his pistol, before taking her purse and leaving the vehicle. The manager of the Catherine’s told reporters that while the store has a surveillance camera, the incident probably will not appear on camera.
Georgia Law Holds Businesses Responsible for Negligent Security
While The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that some local governments are installing security cameras, many businesses lack sufficient security surveillance. Georgia law holds property owners liable for taking reasonable care to prevent injuries to their tenants and customers. That includes taking steps to avoid criminal activity that might harm customers who visit a property. If property owners are aware of violent crimes happening on their property or on nearby properties, the property owner is responsible for taking reasonable steps to secure their property. A victim of such a crime could sue the property owner for negligent security. One of the standard steps for commercial businesses to take is to install surveillance cameras in areas where crimes are likely to occur, such as parking lots and alleyways. Other common security measures include installing lighting in poorly-lit areas and hiring security guards.
Is the Shopping Center Liable for Negligent Security?
Is the property owner liable for negligent security in a case like the one that occurred Saturday in Austell? This depends on several different factors. First, did the property owner know that such a crime might occur? The answer depends on whether there have been crimes in the area previously. If crimes have happened in the parking lot or the vicinity of the business in the recent past, then the property owner probably was aware that such a crime might occur. Second, did the property owner take reasonable steps to secure the property against crime? It’s not completely clear here whether Catherine’s or other businesses in the shopping center had properly secured the area. For example, it’s possible that the owner of the shopping center should have installed surveillance cameras facing the area of the shopping center parking lot where the crime occurred. It’s also possible that the presence of a private security guard would have prevented the crime have occurring. If so, and if the shopping center failed to take these measures, they might be liable for negligent security.
Contact Us for Help
If you or someone you know has been the victim of a crime on someone else’s property, you need legal assistance from a professional. Get in touch with an experienced negligent security attorney at Williams Elleby in Cobb County today to get the compensation you deserve.