A Best Buy “asset protection worker” spotted a repeat offending shoplifter dash to the door with pricey merchandise. It “pissed her off” so much that this criminal would try it again, so she decided to give him a rude awakening he’ll never forget.
Summer Tapasa took her job at Best Buy seriously. The Hawaii native’s sense of justice was so strong that even though the store’s policy did not authorize the use of force to apprehend shoplifters, Tapasa couldn’t allow a brazen repeat offender to get away again.
According to ABC News, “Summer Tapasa was on her shift as an asset protection worker when she saw the man trying to flee with a pricey portable speaker. Tapasa says she saw the man shoplift another speaker from the store a few days earlier, but he got away. Feeling fed up, she decided to take action.”
Despite company policy not to engage physically with shoplifters, Tapasa claimed she made a split-second decision to block the man from leaving. The video shows her several times standing in his way and performing a football-style block, at one point wrestling him to the ground as he tried to run out past her with the speaker.
“That was my first instinct, was to just stop him. He’s not going anywhere. He’s not about to do this again. I’m not about to let it happen, especially not on my watch,” said Tapasa. In the security video, the 24-year-old asset protection worker is seen blocking the man from leaving with the box.
The suspect eventually crashed through a nearby barrier and another employee tried to help. The footage showed the man holding onto her shirt as a shopper and other workers intervened. After a brief scuffle, he left empty-handed and Tapasa followed him outside.
“I could hear my manager in the back of me saying, ‘Let him go, Summer. It’s okay, let him go. Let him go,'” Tapasa recalled. “They would rather let an item go than us risking our lives, and I totally understand that. I appreciate that.” Tapasa said the man apologized outside and tried to fist-bump her, but she told him to leave and never come back.
“I found out who the guy is, and I mean to reach out to him and bless him. I want to bless him so that he could stop doing what he’s doing,” she said. According to Hawaii News Now, Tapasa would have been fired for violating the company’s policy, but she had already put in her notice to resign because she wanted to focus on her other job.
Little did Tapasa know her exploits would go viral and lead to a new career. After seeing the video, UFC president Dana White invited Tapasa to UFC 246, where she received VIP treatment and served as security during the weigh-in between Conor McGregor and Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone.
“That weekend was probably one of the best weekends of my life,” Tapasa recalled. “Uncle Dana, from the moment I stepped onto the plane, from the moment I stepped off of that plane coming home, it was just super amazing. Everything was perfect.” Tapasa was offered a full-time job at UFC headquarters in Las Vegas, where she works security for the organization’s corporate office.
“It’s been amazing. Everyone, they’re super, super nice,” Tapasa said. “I had a couple fighters take pictures of me like Jon Jones. It’s been pretty amazing since I’ve been here.” Her viral moment reportedly garnered plenty of positive attention, including from other celebrities such as Tom Brady and Joe Rogan.