The shoplifting case involving Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown's teenage son now has a new twist. A store cashier says he is really the one to blame for the arrest.
That cashier lost his job and is also facing charges. He called Eyewitness News on Monday after seeing the news about the arrest. The cashier says he wanted to set the record straight and apologize to Byron Brown III. The former A.J. Wright employee shared his story on the condition that Eyewitness News would alter his voice, not use his name or show his face on camera. You can watch the interview by clicking on the video link.
"It was probably one of the dumbest things I've done in my life to be honest with you," says the now-unemployed cashier. He says Byron Brown, 19, came to his cash register Saturday night just before closing to pay for some merchandise with a $100 bill.
"It was a lazy mistake on my part," says the former A.J. Wright employee, "He (Brown) had some undershirts and I really didn't feel like calling a manager for her to give me some new bills for this last purchase of the day." So the cashier says that although he knew it was wrong he told Brown he could take the merchandise and leave without paying for it.
"He looked at me and paused, hesitated in front of me like he was unsure, but I said, 'No no, you're fine'," says the cashier. Store security personnel though stopped Brown once he left with the items, and then the cashier panicked.
"I just denied all of it because I was in fear of losing my job," explains the former store employee. He did end up losing his job and police arrested him along with Brown. That's when the cashier says he tried to come clean with the arresting Buffalo police officer.
"I felt terrible and I said, 'It's really more my fault than his', and he (the officer) wrote it down in the police statement but at the end of the day it was too late," says the unemployed cashier.
Since he can't go back in time and change what happened, the best he can do now is tell Brown that he's sorry. "I just really want to apologize to him. I'll probably never see him in person to apologize and I want to apologize to him for what I did to him."
Police say the confession of the cashier does not excuse the young Byron Brown. He still should not have taken the merchandise without paying. Both men have court appearances scheduled next week.