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 said 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 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," he said. "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 10 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," Simpson said.
Simpson has a lengthy criminal record but said 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," he said.
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 who 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," he said.
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," he said.
Greenfield police do not condone taking the law into your own hands.
Simpson was charged with one misdemeanor count of retail theft and pleaded not guilty.