30 May 2007

That was easy; Staples employees jumped for wearing red

Two Staples store employees and a shopping center customer were beaten by reputed gang members, apparently for wearing red clothing yesterday. The Staples employees were dressed in red uniform polo shirts.

It was the second attack over colours in two months. In April, a 12-year-old boy was hit on the head with a skateboard after he refused to take off a red shirt.

Police stopped a car nearby and witnesses identified the suspects who were arrested and booked on suspicion of committing battery for gang purposes. One of the suspects was also was held on suspicion of drunken driving.

Staples has 190 stores in California and workers clad in the company's polo shirts have been assaulted at other stores because the colour red is claimed by The Bloods, spokeswoman Amy Shanler said. In some cases, Staples has changed the uniform to prevent further attacks. She wouldn't say which stores had changed their uniform colours. "We have changed the uniform before because of the gang situation," Shanler said. "There hasn't been anything discussed as far as this situation."

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