Library security guard attacks alleged book thief

While most people see libraries as peaceful sanctuaries of knowledge, at least one Salt Lake City security guard isn’t among them. He’s become the target of public outcry after mishandling a situation with a book thief.

The incident occurred Wednesday evening in the Salt Lake City Public Library. Video shows the guard screaming at a man who’d allegedly taken a book. As the man walks toward the exit, the guard can be seen hurling various items at him, prompting the alleged thief to say, “That’s assault!” But the guard doesn’t stop there — he’s seen following the man outside, where he hits him with his baton.

Madalena McNeil, who caught the incident on video, says, “I just was really surprised. I understand, you know, it’s a tough job and you’re there to provide security for the library but I was really surprised at the outburst.” In a tweet, McNeil is calling for the guard’s dismissal. A library rep says the incident is “under investigation.”

Do you agree with McNeil? Or did the book thief get the kind of treatment he deserved?