Man sues after security guards allegedly beat, detained him

Tracy Wiggs

A man is suing the management of Marlow Heights Mall, where he says he was stopped, handcuffed, allegedly roughed up and held for more than two hours while holiday shopping last December.

Tracy Wiggs says he was detained by special police security officers hired by the mall.

“I put my hands on top of my head. I was tackled from the back,” he says. “I was on the ground and the officer had his knee in my back.”

Wiggs lawyer, Jimmy Bell, says you only a Maryland state special police officer arrest can someone if a crime is committed in their presence. He says Wiggs didn’t commit a crime.

Wiggs says the incident aggravated back and neck injuries he received while serving as a Marine in Beirut.

“I'm still in pain,” he says. “Absolutely I'm still in pain.”

On Wednesday, Wiggs and his attorney filed a $5 million lawsuit against Gelman Management, the company that runs the Marlow Heights special police force. Wiggs says he went shopping at the mall, and while driving out of the parking lot, he was surrounded by six or seven officers with guns drawn.

“I was wronged - I was mistreated,” he says. “I was abused. These types of things shouldn't happen to people.”

Gelman did not respond to multiple requests for comment.

He says the officers searched him, his bag, his car and took him into a room in the basement of Macy's department store. He claims they handcuffed him to a pole and left him.

After two hours, they let him go, he says.

Wiggs says the officers never explained why they stopped him and never called Prince George's County police.

“I guess they thought they would treat it like it never happened,” he says.