Shopper Strip Searched at Super Market: Lawsuit

A lawsuit claims Publix employees strip searched shopper illegally

Maybe Publix’s new slogan should be “Where shopping can lead to strip searches.”

That’s what one man claims happened to him at the Publix on 57th Avenue and Northwest 7th Street when he was shopping the aisles of the grocery store.

Nathaniel Cruz said a store security guard pulled him into a back room and told him to get naked because he thought the customer was shoplifting. And what item was he allegedly hiding? Some eye drops.

"The gentleman said take everything in your pocket out, and I put the bag on the floor first, and then I started taking my cell phone, my wallet, my keys," Cruz told WSVN. "And I tell them OK, I'm going to take my clothes off, if I don't have it we are going to have some problems.”

We hope he had on clean underwear.

The strip search turned up empty and now Cruz has filed a lawsuit against the grocery store chain. The police, who are authorized to do that sort of thing, were never called during the incident.

Publix hasn’t commented on the matter beyond saying they have not seen the lawsuit, which was filed in court on Wednesday.

Cruz’s father said the store manager apologized about the misunderstanding after the January incident.

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