Lifestyle & Belief

Omar Amin, kicked out of children’s section of bookstore, receives apology from Barnes & Noble


A Barnes & Noble store in the Brooklyn borough of New York.


Spencer Platt

A Barnes & Noble vice president has apologized to a Scottsdale, Ariz., man after an employee forced the man to leave the children section of a store in Scottsdale because he was lingering there alone.

Omar Amin, 73, director of the Parasitology Center Inc. in Scottsdale and an expert in infectious disease, said he went to the bookstore on May 4 to pick up some books for his grandchildren, the Arizona Republic reported. Then he got a call on his cellphone, and he took it in the children’s reading area because it was empty and he didn’t want to disturb other customers, he said, according to Fox News.

“This man approached me and asked if I was in the store by myself,” Amin recalled to Fox News. “He said, ‘You cannot stay. This is not an area where men are allowed to be by themselves.’ ” The man, a Barnes & Noble employee, then escorted him out of the store “firmly,” Amin said.

Reportedly, a female shopper had told the employee that she felt uneasy that Amin was in the children’s area, MSNBC reported.

“I did not break any rules,” Amin told Fox News. “If that is Barnes & Noble’s policy, they should put up a sign saying men are not allowed beyond this point unless they are with children.”

For the past month, Barnes & Noble has said it stood by its employee’s actions, Fox News reported.

But today, Mark Bottini, Barnes & Noble vice president and director of stores, issued an apology, the Arizona Republic reported.

"We want to apologize to Dr. Amin for a situation in which Dr. Amin was asked to leave the children's section of our Scottsdale, Arizona store,” Mark Bottini, said in a statement, according to the Arizona Republic. “We should not have done so. It is not our policy to ask customers to leave any section of our stores without justification."

Amin said that he accepts the company’s apology but he still wants an apology from the employee who told him to leave and a copy of a reprimand letter to the employee, the Arizona Republic reported.

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