Arrest Made in Wal-Mart Intercom Case

Accused suspect is from Atlantic County, N.J., police say

By Vince Lattanzio
|  Saturday, Mar 20, 2010  |  Updated 1:13 PM EDT
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A man has been arrested for allegedly announcing a hateful message over a South Jersey Wal-Mart's intercom, police told NBC Philadelphia.

The unidentified man, who is from Atlantic County, N.J., was taken into custody Friday evening, police said.

Officials are staying tight-lipped on the arrest, but more details are expected to be released at a press conference Saturday.

Several shoppers have been boycotting the retailer since last Sunday when a man accessed the Washington Township, N.J. store's public address system and announced: "Attention Wal-Mart customers: All black people leave the store now."

The store immediately admonished the remarks and issued an apology to shoppers in the store and then through the media several days later.

In the wake of the incident, angry and offended customers lambasted the store for the ease at which someone could make a storewide page through several phones inside the store.

Wal-Mart said Friday that an internal investigation uncovered new evidence suggesting that a shopper may have made the page.

Washington Township Police and the Gloucester County Prosecutor's Office have been investigating the case as a possible hate crime.

Authorities have previously said the person responsible could be charged with harassment and bias intimidation.

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