ROYAL PALM BEACH, Fla. - A trip to the store for contact lenses, turned into full-contact incident between a customer and a store employee in November. What was captured in the store's newly released surveillance video is what West Palm Beach's Meaghan Mercier says has upended her life for the last six months.
"It was all caught on surveillance. Thanks goodness," she said.
Mercier and her partner, David Atkinson, say they went into BJ's Wholesale Club to pick up a pair of contact lenses. "Just how it all unfolded," said Atkinson. "It's just baffling to me how something like that could happen."
The optical department at BJ's had just closed, according to investigators' documents. Mercier and Atkinson then went to management to see if there was any way to get those contacts. That is when they say that things between Mercier and a store employee took a violent turn.
"She stuck her fingers in my eye and clamped her hand on my face and threw me backward," said Mercier. "I'm too smart to attack a random person in a store."
But Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office investigators did not see it that way. In fact, they found that Mercier was the aggressor and charged her with battery.
This week Mercier had her day in court. After viewing the surveillance video, Mercier said that the judge quickly decided to throw this case out all together.
"It's scary to think how fast someone can lose their temper and how quickly something can go totally out of hand," said Mercier. She says her legal fight has cost her thousands.
Attempts were made to reach the other woman involved in that altercation as well as to BJ's Wholesale Club for comment about the judge dismissing Mercier's battery charges. Neither returned a request for comment.