Two years ago, Maria Sklias was pistol-whipped for her purse by an armed robber in a Walmart parking lot, and is now suing the company, a security contractor that provided unarmed security staff, and the site owner/manager for millions:
October 14, 2012 is the last day Maria Sklias of Tucson, Arizona ever shopped at Wal-Mart.
Then 58 years old, the Tucson businesswoman parked her car in the Wal-Mart lot at 455 East Wetmore Road around 8 p.m., exited her car and starting walking towards the store’s entrance. She never made it.
Sklias was assaulted by an attacker who “repeatedly struck her in the head with a pistol while attempting to steal her purse,” according to court filings. “Though Ms. Sklias has no memory of the attack itself, she was either dragged back to the attacker’s vehicle or attempted to approach the vehicle to retrieve her purse and became entangled in the door of the vehicle whereupon she was dragged between 200 and 300 feet before falling away from the vehicle.”
In June of 2015 — 32 months after the incident — Maria Sklias filed a lawsuit in Pima County, Arizona Superior Court. According to her complaint, Sklias “suffered life-threatening injuries which have caused serious permanent impairment including speech impairment, cognitive impairment, nerve damage resulting in partial paralysis and other issues.” She also is suffering from depression and has been forced to move in with her son George, “who has assumed a tremendous amount of care duties as a direct result of the attack on Ms. Sklias.”
Sklias is suing Wal-Mart Stores, their private security contractor Securitas Security Service USA, and Larsen-Baker/Tucson Place Partners, the owner and manager of the shopping mall where the attack took place.
Sklias’s attorney is claiming that the store had inadequate security, noting that the store had a higher number of attacks than other Walmart stores in the area. He is also claiming that the store, the security company, and the site owner/manager should have done more to provide for the security of their customers.
They allege that the store’s single unarmed security guard didn’t do anything to stop the assailants prior to the attack in the five minutes he was watching them act in a “suspicious” manner, and that Walmart should have had armed security on-site.
What I don’t seem to see in the complaint—and of course, you wouldn’t—is that Maria Sklias’s is not suing the person most responsible for her security, because that person refuses to accept responsibility for her failures. That person is Maria Sklias.
You, and you alone, are ultimately responsible for your own security.
Your situational awareness (or lack of it), and level of self defense training (or lack of it) is a significant factor in whether or not you will become a victim of violent crime. Maria Sklias lives within hours of some of the finest firearms instruction facilities in the world. She has a right to bear arms, and had a right to have a concealed weapon in the Walmart parking lot that night.
Unfortunately, he failed to defend herself, with either knowledge, with training, or with a firearm.
I fail to see how Walmart, Securitas Security Service, or Tucson Place Partners could know that this violent attack would take place, nor what they could have done to prevent this crime short of psychic “pre-crime” screening ripped from the pages of Philip K. Dick’s Minority Report.
While I feel a great deal of sympathy for the pain and suffering Maria Sklias must have endured and is presumably still enduring as a result of this crime, it seems disingenuous to me that she is blaming Walmart, the security contractor, and the site owner when they are less culpable than either the criminal or herself.