A DEPARTMENT store in the city centre has ‘sincerely apologised’ to a homeless man following a viral post that said he had been ‘assaulted’ by a security guard while sleeping outside the shop.
Russell Lucas Allen, took to Facebook yesterday morning to say that a guard at the Debenhams store in Commercial Road, Portsmouth, had flooded his bedding, which he said had been donated to him by the public, on Boxing Day morning.
His post went viral on social media prompting thousands to sign two online petitions calling for the department store to take action.
The store now says it has apologised to Mr Allen for the incident and supplied him with new bedding and clothing following the altercation.
Mr Allen posted: ‘Yesterday morning I woke up feeling wet socks and clothes. Thought I might [have] left a bottle open or something.
‘I then get told by the security of Debenhams I have ten minutes which was fine but as he walked away he said enjoy your water bed.
‘So I bite back as it being Boxing Day. So I then begin to pack up my bedding to then discover that the security guard from inside of Debenhams has flooded all my bedding and ruined clothing, dog food, bedding and public donations brought by the kind members of the public.’
He added that he spoke to the store’s management following the incident, saying that he ‘didn’t do anything’ and that ‘apparently it’s acceptable to bully the homeless and assault them while sleeping.’
In response to the claims, a Debenhams spokeswoman said the altercation was an ‘unfortunate accident.’
She said: ‘We take this matter very seriously and have investigated it thoroughly this morning.
‘We have established that this was an unfortunate accident in which the routine cleaning of the fire exit from inside of the store resulted in some of the gentleman’s property on the other side of the fire exit becoming wet.
‘Debenhams has now supplied the gentleman with new bedding and clothing, and a member of our team has met him to offer our sincere apologies for any distress caused.’
Readers have also been having their say on our Facebook page after Debenhams made their apology.
A petition set up by Jayde Crossley in Portsmouth has over 5,500 signatures calling for the store to take action against the security worker responsible for the flooding of the items.
Paul Cardin in Wallasey, Merseyside has also set up a petition calling on customers to boycott the store until the guard is disciplined or fined and has collected over 200 signatures.