After Joe Cantrell entered his local Walmart to get a deal on some Christmas ornaments, the disabled professional wrestler was escorted out of the store in handcuffs.
He was told that due to an earlier incident he reportedly had with a cashier during the week, he was banned for life from Walmart. The 49-year-old man from San Tan Valley, Ariz., took to Facebook to describe the incident that has garnered national attention, ABC 15 reports.
“This was the most embarrassing moment of my entire life I have never been handcuffed up until this point in my life I have a clean record and I take pride in that,” he wrote on a Facebook post Tuesday.
The incident stems from a trip Cantrell took to a San Tan Valley Walmart on Dec. 2 when he went to buy Christmas ornaments and tried to get the best price using the company’s price match policy. When he asked for a lower price, the cashier reportedly did not issue him a discount. He complained to management.
In a statement, Walmart claims Cantrell threatened the cashier to a point where the employee felt unsafe and the store manager decided to call the police.
"The safety of our associates and customers is our top priority, and we find threats of violence unacceptable. This customer threatened our associate with bodily harm. Out of abundance of caution, local law enforcement was contacted. Due to continuous threats of violence, the customer is no longer welcome at the store."
But according to Cantrell, he did not threaten the cashier. When he returned to the store several days later, he had no idea he was banned.
“I was handcuffed, humiliated and embarrassed in front of everybody at Walmart,” Cantrell told KNXV. “I just love Walmart and that’s why I go.”
Once out of the store, the deputies agreed to let Cantrell go. "They saw a grown man cry like a baby," he said. "Probably because I knew I would be able to go home to my family and finish that Christmas tree."
Cantrell says he visits Walmart at least twice a day, always checking store circulars for discounts. He contends that the store’s video footage, which Walmart has not released, shows he’s not at fault.
Videos have emerged of alleged Walmart workers supporting Cantrell’s story. In one, a man who says he’s a Walmart employee that witnessed the incident said Cantrell “never directly threatened anybody.” Adding, “They never came to him to ask him what was the real reason he was so upset. They just went off the employee’s word.”
Cantrell, who was a professional wrestler for eight years, has suffered a series of injuries, forcing him into early retirement from the sport.
“Sorry I get a little emotional about this because I’m disabled,” he told ABC 15. “I felt shamed. I felt like I was the bad guy. And I know I’m not a bad guy.”
In a recent Facebook post, Cantrell vows to keep fighting the mega-retailer until his name is cleared.
“I will not rest and I will not let Walmart bully me around,” Cantrell wrote. “I will not rest easily until I get justice. I should have never been handcuffed and humiliated the way I was.”