Land O' Lakes woman arrested at Walmart speaks out

By Jeff Allen, Brett Rosner and Natalie Tolomeo, Team Coverage
Last Updated: Saturday, November 24, 2012, 11:19 AM EST

A woman’s holiday weekend has just been ruined.

A viewer sent in video of 28-year-old Samantha Chavez getting arrested at a Walmart in Altamonte Springs.

Altamonte Springs police said the Land O' Lakes resident was arrested at about 10:30 p.m. Thursday.

Officers said Chavez was seen approaching the crowded checkout lines. She attempted to bypass the long lines and walk past the officer controlling the lines.

Chavez said she was trying to find her sister-in-law and explained what happened a different way.

"I came back and the lines kind of moved and I couldn’t find her," Chavez said. "Her cellphone wasn’t working. The battery had died. This cop’s in front of me and he’s like 'No you can’t go, you need to go the other way.' I’m like 'I’m just looking for my sister' and he’s like ‘no you have to go that way.’ I’m like ‘but she’s here, I need to find her.’”

The officers told her she needed to follow the flow of checkout lines. Chavez looked at the officer said “OK” and then again attempted to physically walk past the officer redirecting her.

Chavez was told several more times to get in line, but police said she refused and began screaming, causing a larger scene and disturbing other customers.

Officer said they attempted to escort Chavez out of the store, when she began throwing the items she was carrying on the floor and pulling away from the officer.

“I’ve never been in that situation. And for him to have me on the floor with all his body weight on me was very, very traumatic. I was yelling, screaming, saying ‘I didn’t do anything; I just want to go home; Please let me go,’" Chavez described.

Several officers were working detail at Walmart during the incident and several more responded to the call.

Chavez was charged with disorderly conduct and resisting an officer without violence. She was released from the Seminole County jail at about 4:20 a.m. Friday on $550 bond.

“And they took me out and they arrested me for nothing in my opinion, for nothing. I didn’t push on him, did not use foul language. I did not do anything for this to end up the way it did,” said Chavez.

The viewer who sent in the video said Chavez was just scared. She was looking for her sister-in-law at the store.