Escaped mental patient ransacks store - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

Escaped mental patient ransacks store

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ATLANTA, GA (NBC) - You can find a little bit of everything in Atlanta's Richards Variety Store, but customers saw something in the store Tuesday that no one could have dreamed of.

The store owner still has a hard time believing what happened when a 16-year-old girl acted like a bull in a China shop, damaging merchandise.

The troubled teenager walked into the store at about 12:30PM and walked up and down the aisles pulling merchandise off the shelves.

Ya Ya Klenberg said she is upset because no one tried to stop her.

"When I heard the first sound I thought it must be some customer just had an accident," the owner said. "When it continued, the crashing sound, I knew something is seriously wrong."

The girl was from a nearby psychiatric home for children.

She started ripping pottery off shelves, throwing them to the ground, shattering them.

Klenberg ran to the front of the store and grabbed the girl, but two people from the psychiatric home stopped her.

Klenberg said they told her she couldn't touch the girl.

They told her they couldn't either.

"And that bugs me because she's going through the store destroying everything and nobody's doing anything," Klenberg said.

The girl knocked over displays and broke furniture while customers were evacuated from the store.

At one point, she picked up a shard from a vase and a fork and used them to fend off anyone who approached her.

Klenberg said the girl kept mumbling that she was dangerous and warned everyone not to come close to her.

Klenberg said it went on for about 30 minutes before police arrived and cornered the girl.

She doesn't blame the girl.

"I'm just angry about the situation," she said. "Something can be done and we should have been able to reduce the damage."

Klenberg estimates she suffered about $4,000 damage.

She said the psychiatric home offered to pay for the damage.
 
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