Buying Too Many iPhones? There Is a Taser for That.

In an incident that many will consider shocking, a Chinese woman who attempted buy too many iPhones at a local Apple retail store in Nashua, New Hamspshire found herself in a terrifying ordeal: being tasered by local police who were called in to provide security.

The women spoke to a local TV crew about her ordeal and, through her daughter translating as she claims she does not speak English, she had purchased two iPhones the day before and had returned to try and purchase two more for relatives overseas. Apple would not sell her the phones on the second visit and asked her to leave. Not knowing English, she did not comply, and that was when police were called in.

iphone5According to local police, Apple had issues with people buying multiple iPhones in the U.S. and then turning around and selling them at inflated prices overseas, especially in countries where the iPhone isn’t either officially available through Apple or a local carrier partner. It appears that in New Hampshire, Apple is trying to curtail this behavior by limiting two iPhones per person.

Police also said that the woman had $16,000 in cash on her at the time of her arrest. It’s unclear if she was using the money to buy iPhones to resell, as the police disclosure may seemingly imply, or for what other reasons she would carry such a large sum of cash.

It’s really peculiar that such force–the use of a taser–was used in trying to remove the woman from the Apple Store, and at the end of the day, it just seems like it was a communication issue with a language barrier. The 44 year-old woman is due in court for her two misdemeanor chargers in January, and hopefully the situation will get sorted out.

Apple has so far not offered any comments on the situation.

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Comments

  1. Tim Davies says

    You don’t need to speak the same language to know the Police are asking you to leave.You may not understand WHY, but if the police tell you to leave(pointing to the exit, and making motions), and you do NOT. Well, your asking to be arrested…and if you resist, you are asking to be tased. A mall is private property, if they ask you to leave, you don’t have a choice.

    If I was in another country, in her situation, I’d leave and bring my daughter the next day or whenever next I was able to so that she could translate exactly why she can not buy more phones(if she really did not know…plus if she can use a iphone in Chinese, she can Google it!).

  2. ChasL says

    Chuong, according to interview given by the victim, she’s a successful business woman and the 4 phones she wanted to buy were gifts. Also Apple had lifted the two phone purchase limit for the holiday, prior to denying Ms. Li’s phone purchase.

    Apple Store’s discrimination against Asian customer was investigated by NY Attorney General’s civil rights office a year and half ago. Apparently their racial profiling of Asian customers have not changes.

    As to the use of taser, IMHO is just way over the top.

    Taser guns have a history of causing accidental stroke, heart attack, even death, and should never be part of any routine arrest. Next to lethal weapon, taser is an extraordinary measure reserved to safeguard the officer against violent aggressions. Ironically, armed with only an iPhone, Ms. Li never posed a threat to the officers.

    Lastly, should Apple, or any business, regulate what people do with goods legally purchased, in a free society? May it be gifting, resell in US or anywhere, or smash it on Youtube?

    Single out Asians for refusal is racism, pure and simple.

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