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Keyue Yuan v. Tops Market

September 28, 2012

KEYUE YUAN, PLAINTIFF PRO SE,
v.
TOPS MARKET, LLC; THE PENN TRAFFIC COMPANY; CORNELL UNIVERSITY, DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Norman A. Mordue, U.S. District Judge

MEMORANDUM DECISION AND ORDER

I. INTRODUCTION

This action stems from an incident between plaintiff pro se Keyue Yuan and employees at a Tops grocery store in Ithaca, New York on October 10, 2010, during which Cornell University campus police officers, who were called by store employees, escorted plaintiff from the store. Plaintiff filed a summons with notice in New York State Supreme Court, County of Tompkins against defendants. On October 20, 2010, defendant Cornell University removed this action from state court on the basis that the summons with notice alleged a deprivation of civil rights in violation of "federal statutes". Dkt. No. 1. On July 20, 2011, plaintiff pro se Keyue Yuan filed a complaint. Dkt. No. 26. On August 5, 2011, Cornell University filed an answer with a number of

exhibits, including two video recordings which allegedly depict the incident and an audio recording of the call by store employees to Cornell police. Dkt. Nos. 28, 29. On September 7, 2011, defendant Tops Markets, LLC, filed an answer. Dkt. No. 37. Presently before the Court are motions by defendants Cornell University, Tops Markets, and The Penn Traffic Company ("Penn Traffic") pursuant to Rule 12(c) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure for judgment on the pleadings. Dkt. Nos. 45, 50. Plaintiff opposes dismissal of this action. Dkt. No. 49.

II. THE PLEADINGS

A. The Complaint

In the complaint, plaintiff states:

4.a. In the evening of Oct. 10, 2010, my wife, my daughter, and I went to the P&C*fn1 food store on the East Hill Plaza in Ithaca, New York for grocery shopping. The store overcharged me . . . for a jar of pine nuts. When I requested a refund from a male

manager, he insisted that I had to show the shelf price to a young male employee. It took the male manager almost 10 minutes to eventually refund my overpayment. Afterwards, a female manager requested me to sign more paper works, and I refused.

b. A few minutes later, I returned to the store to retrieve the bag of grocery [sic] bought earlier and left in the store by my daughter. When I was not able to find the bag, I asked the female manager about it. She told me "NO! I could not deal with you!"

c. The store does have a policy of either refund or re-bag the groceries that customers left or lost in the store.

d. When I explanted [sic] the situation again to the male manager, he also replied that he did not see the bag and there was nothing he was able to do to help me. I reasoned with them that if somebody took the bag, they should review the recordings of the security cameras.

e. A Cornell campus police officer came to the scene (Since I have not learnt his and the other officer's names yet, I will label him as officer A) and asked for my photo ID. As I was telling officer A about what happened, officer B come with another officer. He interrupted me, stepped ver close and threatened me: "I will arrest you if you raise

your voice". I was surrounded and cornered by the three officers.

f. A female cashier, who checked out my purchase earlier, spoke out in a loud voice that she had put the bag away to keep two cartons of ice cream inside the bag from melting. She chose the moment to speak out probably because she was shocked by the show of force by the Cornell campus police officers.

g. The male manager accused me of threatening the female manager and later he joined the three officers confined me in the semicircle that forced me back on to a wall.

h. Officer B kept on interrogating me why I threatened the female manager, and repeatedly demanded that I give him the EXACT numbers that, over the many years I stayed in Ithaca, how many times I shopped at Tops stores, and how many times I have been overcharged, even after that he heard the statement of the female cashier and what I told him repeatedly that I did nothing to threaten the female manager and I had no control over when and under what circumstances for her to call the police, and that I simply return to the store to retrieve my paid grocery.

i. Officer B even taunted me why mt voice was shaking, The interrogating and detainment went on for ...


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