Tonight the countdown to christmas is down, how many will be at the mall this weekend? So this evening a shopper's guide, the secrets revealed. Who knew you could go to the big name stores and bargain... See More
Tonight the countdown to christmas is down, how many will be at the mall this weekend? So this evening a shopper's guide, the secrets revealed. Who knew you could go to the big name stores and bargain for a better price. The knockoffs, could you spot a super fake? First tonight the view of the mall you haven't seen from a one time mall cop armed with tiny cameras, matt gutman tonight on the case. It's shopping confidential. Reporter: Shopping seems like america's real full contact sport, where folks sharpen their elbows and leave all that holiday spirit in the parking lot before blitzing the mall, like this crazed mob bursting through the doors of a california store. Yep, a shopping trip these days can be a downright hazardous activity. This black friday in philadelphia, an all-out brawl erupts out between two couples, with that woman zapping her opponent with a stun gun, again and again. Also last month surveillance video caught a dangerous species of shopper, flash robbers who swarm stores making off with racks of loot. Another group tramp else an employee in their get away. But what about those people hired to keep shoppers safe? You would expect your mall cop to crack down on out of control shoppers like this crowd, right? Wrong. It turns out most mall cops are specifically trained not to intervene. Most of the training you'll find with professional security office will be to observe and report and wait for law enforcement or proper authorities to respond. Reporter: And that brings us to the story of a lone mall cop who apparently didn't get that message. Darien long became an internet sensation for what he did to keep the shoppers at his mall safe. Last year, long landed a job as a guard here at the metro mall in downtown atlanta, an area surrounded by government buildings. That means the mall should be packed with shoppers, but they've been driven away by the rampant crime in the neighborhood. Basically, the clientele of this mall were some of the toughest people in town. All kinds of stuff going on down there. When I first got there, it was damn near open air drug market. That's how easy I could spot people doing things. Reporter: Even though the job only paid 500 bucks a week, long came in kitted out more like robo-cop than a mall cop. Walk me through the inventory of what you have on you. Uh, smith and wesson nine millimeter. This is a 16-inch asp baton, very good thing. This is the taser x-3. Reporter: And a tactical vest. Yeah, with a gopro on it, which is probably the most valuable tool in the arsenal. The gopro camera. Reporter: Long wore the camera to document his encounters in the mall. Much of his time was spent keeping the peace by breaking up fights, or helping settle customer disputes. Reporter: But when it came time to busting the illegal activity in the mall, long preferred an iron rod to the golden mean. In this video, he catches a man selling drugs and boots him out of the mall. Reporter: Long's in your face approach clearly rubs people the wrong way. Although he's often surrounded by a hostile crowd, he doesn't give an inch -- even when he's menaced by this man holding a brick. There weren't just scuffles. This could be life or death. Somebody could get shot and killed. Yeah, I took it -- sometimes I just took it to that level. This is a very aggressive culture down there. You show any weakness, man, these people will walk all over you. Reporter: And the confrontations got even more intense. When long tries to boot a man he says was banned from the premises, he finds himself outnumbered four to one. You better watch your back, bro! Reporter: Long may be alone, but he's got a friend. He pulls out his trusty taser, and bids good night to his top assailant. When that doesn't pacify the crowd, long has to up the ante. All right, that's -- that's the real thing right there, that's not a taser. That's a smith and wesson. Reporter: When you watch it now, do you ever think, "was this excessive? Maybe I didn't have to tase them? Maybe I didn't have to pull out my weapon?" Oh no, when they started to advance towards me, oh, no, the firearm had to come out. After the taser, there's nothing but bullets. That's not anything that i would, uh, allow our security officers, or anyone, to do. Reporter: Direct confrontation is a big no-no for most mall cops, even in deadly cases like this fatal carjacking at a mall earlier this week. When this armed shooter entered a new jersey mall last month and began firing, mall cops scrambled to get customers to safety, instead of going rambo like darien long. There is no doubt in my mind that his heart is in the right place and that he is trying to do the right thing, but his tactics are 100% wrong. Reporter: But long's questionable tactics made him a hero to residents and business owners who had been long frustrated by the city's neglect of the area. He brought to the world what we have been talking about for years to everybody. Somebody was taking ownership, responsibility and trying to do something. We have decorated people like him to do these things. Reporter: But it was this confrontation that carried long's reputation far beyond downtown atlanta. Here, two women turn on him after he tells their kids to quiet down. Reporter: Long calmly retreats back inside the mall, but the woman in the red skirt follows him in and starts swinging at his face. Long has had enough, comes out with taser blasting, and the woman goes down like a load of bricks. She goes down. Was there perhaps a better, more diplomatic way to deal with this? Well, after she hit me, no. After I took so much abuse, okay, I'm tired of that, I'm not trying to hear this no more. Reporter: The mother-tasering clip eventually landed on youtube and went viral. Long became an internet sensation. People had never seen a mall cop act like this before, and one site dubbed him the "kick ass mall cop." You gotta like the name just a little bit. I know part of you likes it. Yeah, but I'm not kickass. It wasn't about being the biggest badass on the block. I'm the softest guy there. I'm the weakest guy there. I'm just the guy with the most freaking commitment. Reporter: That's true. But it would cost him. That video was the beginning of the end of the kickass mall cop. This march, the metro mall gave long his walking papers, blaming a slowdown in business. Then later that week as he was finishing out his stint at the mall, long tried to tackle a man he says he'd ordered off the premises earlier. This time, police took long away in cuffs and charged him with battery. His career as a mall cop had come to an inglorious end. He's being prosecuted for activity that goes on here all the time, and just look the other way. And he is doing this on the property that he was hired to protect. Reporter: Does it make you angry, though, that you were fired? That you got booted from the job in such a way? You know, not at all. It was a job, it was a job. I won while I was standing here, but I did not succeed. Reporter: With long gone, the drug dealers and loiterers are now back inside the mall. With christmas around the corner, long himself has hit some hard times. With the pending charge, he can't get work as a security guard. Still, he has no regrets about his stint as the kickass mall cop. Darien, did you ever think, this is just a tiny, little, podunk mall. Is this worth dying for? It's the job. And I'm going to do the job. I mean, I tried to do what was right. I tried to, you know, help some
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