Sharon Hren, 52, says she walked into Macy's during their grand re-opening day last month, and walked out with a broken arm thanks to security guards.
On October 26, Hren, a petite woman who suffered a brain injury in the early '90s, stopped by the store at 5 pm, accompanied by her blue Doberman, Katie. She said hello to the cosmetics counter staff, walked over to a counter near the door, and began looking at the perfume testers.
"The girl at the counter said, 'Just pick one,' so I did," says Hren. "I didn't want to get her into trouble. I just wanted to smell nice."
As she was walking toward the door—with what she assumed was a free tester of perfume—two security guards grabbed Hren, one by each arm.
"I said, 'Owwww! You've broken my arm!'" Hren says. "But they told me I'd be in a lot more pain if it was really broken."
That evening—after the security guards called the police, who arrested Hren for shoplifting—she went to the emergency room at Providence. There, doctors put a cast on her right arm for a fracture of the ulna—a broken arm.
Hren went back to Macy's the next day to show them her cast, but alleges she was denied access to the store by its security, and told she would be charged with trespassing if she returned.
"They told me, 'We don't want you out here bothering our customers,'" Hren says.
Hren says Macy's later sent her a $300 bill for the perfume, which she plans to not pay. She will also plead not guilty to shoplifting in court on January 4, 2008, and is consulting with an attorney about her arm.
"We decline comment on security issues and investigations," says Kimberley Reason, Macy's director for corporate communications and media relations.