Manager charged with attacking man in store

Man's shoulder dislocated after asking why boy was kicked out of the business

Posted: Tuesday, March 01, 2005

The manager of the Juneau Radio Shack has been charged with assaulting a Juneau teacher on Friday at his Nugget Mall store.

Store manager James White, 46, pleaded not guilty at his arraignment on Monday. He was released from police custody on a $1,000 bond Friday, according to district court records.

White allegedly pushed Fred Hiltner, a Harborview Elementary School teacher, against a wall in the Radio Shack store on Friday and struck him on the face with his fists, according to a Juneau police complaint.

Hiltner, 50, said he had gone to the store to ask White about an incident involving a 12-year-old Native boy who was asked to leave the store on Thursday.

White is accused of dislocating Hiltner's shoulder and causing bruises and abrasions to his face, according to the police complaint filed Friday night.

White could not be reached for comment Monday at work and his home phone number listed in court records was not in service. He told the court Monday that he intends to hire Juneau attorney Louis Menendez to defend him.

Kathy Buell, marketing director of the Nugget Mall, said she would decline comment until she meets with the mall's board of directors this morning.

Hiltner learned about the incident involving the boy after the child's father, Rocky Eddy, a teacher at Gastineau Elementary School, related it to Juneau School District staff on Friday. Hiltner said he has received diversity training and went to Radio Shack to try to understand whether the incident was racially motivated.

Eddy said that at first he suspected that his son was mistreated because he is Native, but later heard from other customers that White was just rude.

The boy and his friend were asked to leave the store after they picked up a $100 metal detector on display, he said.

"Being a reasonable parent, I went into the store to understand what had happened," Eddy said. "He was asked to leave; otherwise (security) would be called."

Eddy said a store employee confirmed that the boy was asked to leave for picking up the detector while there were 10 signs saying not to pick it up. Eddy said he asked the employee to show him the display shelf and found no signs at the detector, but some small signs at other products.

"When I questioned the lack of signs, I was called to the counter," Eddy said. "The man gave me a criminal trespass notice."

Hiltner went to the store with his fiancee, Cinda Stanek, to talk to the owner, he said. White brought him and Stanek to the back room of the store, he said.

"I asked him if this possibly had anything to do with (the boy) being a Native," Hiltner said. "Then he physically attacked me from behind and threw me into a wall. My shoulder was dislocated because of the impact. And then he pinned me on the stairs and repeatedly beat me in the face and head."

White's case has been assigned to District Court Judge Kevin Miller and his next court appearance is scheduled for March 4.

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