Arrest Made in Wal-Mart Intercom Case

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

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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.

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    Sheila Ellington and Virginia Tinsley talk about the Wal-Mart paging incident. (Published Wednesday, Mar 17, 2010)

    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."

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    [PHI] Former Employee Says Phones Aren't Secure Enough
    A former Wal-Mart employee says anyone can walk up and make a page from anywhere on the sales floor. (Published Wednesday, Mar 17, 2010)

    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.