ST. CLOUD, Fla. – It's a shopping trip St. Cloud resident Christian Hathaway will never forget; she was locked inside her local CVS after the store closed for the night.
She said the incident happened Monday night at the CVS store on 13th Street in St. Cloud. Hathaway was on her way home from the gym when she stopped there for a few minutes to pick up a few things.
She said the music was still playing and the lights were still on, but when she prepared to check out, there was no one at the register. The doors were closed and Hathaway was alone.
"I start banging on the door; that's when the alarm starting going off and that's when it really hit me, 'Nope you are locked in,'" Hathaway told News 6 on Wednesday night. "I start screaming, 'Hello, hello, let me out! I'm in here.' Nobody answers."
She said she dialed 911 and dispatch sent a St. Cloud officer, but Hathaway said even he couldn't get her free.
"The guy gives me a call and says, 'I just want to let you know we are outside, but unfortunately, due to the metal storm doors, we can't get in to get you. We have contacted the store manager who is in route,'" she said.
Hathaway said it was 40 minutes later that the manager, with a key in his hand, came to free her.
"He did tell me that they didn't follow policy and that they were going to retrain all the closers on the proper way to close the store," Hathaway said.
On the following night, CVS employees gave the five-minute warning to make sure everyone got out. But Hathaway still had advice for shoppers:
"Just make sure you look at the time on the door before you walk in because God forbid you get stuck inside," she said.
Hathaway told News 6 both the store's manager and CVS' district manager called to apologize and offered her a $100 gift card for the inconvenience.
"We are very sorry this incident occurred and we have attempted to reach Ms. Hathaway to apologize to her," said Mike DeAngelis, of CVS Corporate Communications. "We are following up with the store team to ensure that our store closing procedures are followed properly in order to prevent something like this from happening again."