4 more women allege inappropriate touching by fired Plumb’s cashier

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WHITEHALL, Mich. — Four more women have come forward alleging inappropriate touching from fired Plumb’s cashier Fred Civis, according to Muskegon County Chief Assistant Prosecutor Tim Maat.

Civis, who has worked at Plumb’s Valu-Rite Foods for nearly 39 years, is currently facing a charge of misdemeanor assault and battery.

According to charging documents, a 25-year-old victim claims they were inappropriately touched by Civis in July.

Civis claims his firing was the result of hugging a customer.   He described the incident to FOX 17: “A pal hug, you put your arm around the shoulder, you put your arm around the shoulder, ya know, you’re best pals.”

After he was fired from Plumb’s, a Facebook page called “Boycott Whitehall Plumb’s for Fred” has since gained nearly 9,000 supporters.

One woman who says she reported Civis’ erratic behavior roughly six months ago says she has recently received death threats from Whitehall community members.

“The things that have been said are disgusting,” Kim Woodland told FOX 17. “I don’t know the details of what’s going on with Fred or this lawsuit, it’s not our business, but I can’t fathom being on the opposite end where a victim is getting victimized in a sense, because someone that’s going to file that complaint, they’re going to be up against what I’m up against.”

Maat said that the sheriff’s department is investigating the alleged death threats and felony charges could follow.

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61 comments

  • Lori Yonkers

    I agree with you, Brenda – it’s like they didn’t think anything of being hugged until this one witch decided that she had been “assaulted” by getting a hug. I could see charges being brought if he was being obnoxious or threatening, but to drag this poor man through the courts for a hug? With all the murders and crime going on in Muskegon and Muskegon Heights, I would think that the prosecutor would have better things to do than this….

  • yup

    I hope people can find peace in destroying this guy’s life more. You have to jump on band wagon to feel proud congratulations you now belong to the cry me a river bitch club. You can now feel special sitting around talking about how you are forever wounded by a touch by a special person. I spit in your direction. A simple call to the owners of plums could have solved your problem but law suit seems better don’t it to the girl that started this smile because when all this is done and you get what you want the truth is your still a BITCH that can’t handle stuff without a lawyer.

  • Mike Jones

    Complaints by the 4 may have been made to the company before. The company claims they had complaints before and Fred was warned. We don’t know for sure if it was just hugs. Reaching around giving a “pal hug” you could accidentally touch a women’s breast.

  • Gag Me With A Spoon

    So a hug is now considered “inappropriate” and is an offence punishable by law.
    REALLY?
    If it was truly just a hug, and nothing more, then why din’t the alleged victims simply inform the alleged huger to stop? ( just say “no”)
    This is a symptom of a crippled system, maybe a bias system.

    Whats next? hand shakes.

  • sharlene janish

    Some info seems to be missing here.He worked for decades at a store and no doubt became familiar with a lot of people.NOW there are issues with his so called uncomfortable behavior.This story seems to have gaps ,and many of them.

  • Rebecca white

    I figured others would come forward. Fred had been told before to quit hugging others. And Fred dosent care. Therefore Fred dosent care about boundaries. DUH! !!!!!! 1+1=2….they have a good case against Fred and I hope he gets his karma. What ever God see’s fit…

  • member of the community

    This absolutely ridiculous. This is a fine act put on by customers that claim this event. He is a wonderful man, friend to many and respected citizen in this community. He is member of a very fine church. The people that claim these actions must have nothing better to do besides ruin peoples lives, were talking about a store that has cameras at every angle and they would provide the evidence that supports these ridiculous accusations. Our whole town is the side of the accused and were ready to fight for him. Your a great person Fred.

      • Amy

        I would be in the back room with him any day of the week and I would trust him with my 10 year old Granddaughter. Fred is harmless and a very loving childlike guy. I can truly call him my friend and I will take a hug from him any day of the week!

        • Kerry

          You would let a grown man grope your 10 year old granddaughter? You’re a very sick woman and I hope you are NEVER left alone with any minors in your care!

          • Amy

            I did NOT say I would let him or anyone else grope my granddaughter! Get over yourself! I said I would trust him with my granddaughter and you are the sick one! These are totally fabricated rumors and you people should be ashamed of yourselves for ruining a man’s life over a hug!

          • Otto

            My cousin had an incident, it was much more then hugging. She told the manager and he said they have received multiple complaints and they where doing all they could do.

          • Tanya

            She clearly did not say she would let him grope her 10 yr. old granddaughter. You seem to br yet another citizen who takes things out of context and repeats things the way you want them to come across. I have known Fred for years, and he is a very nice, slightly mentally challenged man who is childlike in behavior. I think it’s sweet and refreshing to see an adult value the power of a hug or a gesture as simple as touching someone on the arm while talking.

  • Anonomys

    I seen all this before. I once dated a girl I worked with at a restaurant, when I was promoted to manager, I had to make a choice between friends and my job. When the girl I dated became upset over job duties, she told the HR that I had sexually harassed her, after I was suspended for it, a not so good looking lesbian had also said I harassed her. The girl also got her high school friends to agree.

    • Rebecca white

      Hey anonymous. .It’s not about you! !!! Love how you are trying to turn the tables. Bahaha. Again. .no means no. I shouldn’t have to worry about a FRIENDLY hug from anybody without my approval. The ppl believing this crap dosent have a grip on reality. ..

  • Thomas Morningstar [WHITEHALL MI.]

    I have knowing Fred all my life HE IS A GREAT PERSON and if Plumbs was so worried about him then move him else where in the store he may not be the brightest person but he was a hard worker and they have allowed this for ever n ever , He is by far no sex offender or anything like that and you women that are saying these things you all have had worse than that done to you at one point in your lives I kno this and you all should be ashamed of yourself and as for Plumbs KARMA to you because I hope and pray that when Walmart comes to Whitehall Plumbs closes down and moves out BECAUSE they have ripped off all of the people in Muskegon County and the visitor”s to the whitelake area with your
    very high Food pcices so I will never shop there again and I can oniy hope others will follow me …………………… THIS IS SO WRONG RUINING THIS MAN’S LIFE !!!!!! IF you all don’t kno FRED has been challenged all his life and our society has MANY people like this. I hope you all that are doing this to him have the worst Karma ever your wrong all of you if you people only new FRED you would kno that there was no harm Fred wouldn’t even hurt a spider if I bit him he would pet him and say thank you for the bit WISHING AND PRAYING KARMA BIT’S YOU IN THE ASS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Amy

      I agree with you! Fred would never hurt anyone. He is a challenged individual and if Plumbs were so worried about him they should’ve put him behind the front counter. He could’ve greeted people as they come in the door and brightened people’s days as he did every day. He always called people by their names and put smiles on our faces. I love Fred and people need to know this community Hugs people and if they do not like it, say so or stay away…your choice!

      • Kerry

        You shouldn’t have to tell people that you don’t want to be touched! Why is that so hard for you to understand? Oh yeah, you’re the lady that would let an old man grope her 10 year old granddaughter so it makes a lot more sense now.

        • Amy

          You know , you are one sic sick lady! Now I can see the true story! The allegations are fabricated just like you fabricated my story. I NEVER thought / or said that I would let anyone’s grope my granddaughter and you had to make it sound like I did ! So I guess people like you do things like this to GOOD people! Make something out of nothing at all! You are really sick!

    • Kerry

      Apparently Fred was warned repeatedly and still continued to do what he wasn’t supposed to. How many chances are we going to give people who continue to break the rules? Nobody ruined Fred’s life except himself. If he had stopped when he was warned then this never would have gone this far.

      • Amy

        He is SLOW for God’s sake! He is childlike and feels he is just is spreading love! He does not have a malicious bone in his body! If you guys have not known him for as long as the rest of us, you may not know this! He means no harm to anyone! Leave this poor man alone! He has hurt no one !

          • actual victim of REAL sexual abuse

            oh yeah otto that totally sounds credible…pfft get a life with your make believe that goes for all the dumb ass women who don’t know really sexual assault when you are raped or abused your entire childhood and the people responsible get no jail time but this crap turns into a lawsuit there is something wrong with this place.

        • Carri Wilson

          In a town not so far away, I had a similar situation. Mentally handicapped man “hugging” too much. I called the police after an incident with one of my young daughters, I didn’t file charges but made a complaint for the record. The officer was aware of my misgivings over filing a report on a mentally handicapped man…he then explained that there were many incidents with this man having “accidents” while hugging young female athletes after sporting events, but it was usually shrugged off as an accident or he didn’t understand what he was doing. The officer’s comment to me, “I think he is sly as a fox. If your mother radar is going off, it is your responsibility to take precautions in the best interest of your children.”

  • Incredulous

    Wow, 9000 likes. But remember, 9000 drooling morons are only a very small percentage of the total drooling morons on Facebook.

    • diane spicklemire

      If you weren’t so contemptible I’d feel sorry for you. Yes I do know the woman. I probably do know the other four if I knew there names. Groping is not a hug! Yes more “victims” come forward usually when there’s a lawsuit involved, dah$$$ I have had hugs from Fred. He puts his arm across the top of your back and squeezes or pats your top arm. Fred’s hugs have never touched your butt,. I want to know who are you. Making replies that aren’t very nice. I have know Fred since forever I know one of his kids. I know when I went to Plumbs I hoped he was working cause he was the one of the few employees who knew the answer to every question and he didn’t make you feel like you were bothering him. 9000 likes is probably more than the number of residents in the Whitehall/Montague area. Looking forward to your rude reply.

  • yup

    INCREDULOUS you have allot of time I’m thinking you are one of the 4 who got rubbed and enjoyed it just saying those who talk against are usually the biggest for it.

  • suec_61@hotmail.com

    Wow…glad I dont live there…if any stranger at a store tried to hug me or my daughter i would be very upset; You don’t do that. Its creepy and for you people to judge the people who reported him are crazy!!!

    • Stephanie

      This is a small town, or used to be. We all knew Fred & he never hurt anybody! He had always asked before hugging & I must agree, if Plumb’s had given him “warnings” why didn’t they move him to a different position??? Guess they weren’t too worried till $$$ and court became involved. Not everyone is evil…you’d be surprised & probably not believe me if I told you about a “known to his family” child molester!!!!!!!!!!!!! I STILL have family that defend my father & he admitted molesting my brother, but statute of limitation is up. Worry about real pedophiles/sexual abusers or harassers. Leave Fred alone.

      • Kerry

        I’ve lived in a small town with a population of about 2000. I didn’t know every single person in that town and even if I did, unless it’s a close personal friend I would not accept hugs from them. I don’t see why it’s so hard for people to understand that it’s NOT ok to touch someone without their consent. If it were a child running up for hugs that’s one thing, but this a grown adult. And he knew what he was doing was wrong because he had received warnings before. The fact that he was fired was nobody’s fault but his own. If he had listened to the warning the whole thing wouldn’t have gone this far, but he chose to disregard them and kept on doing what he wanted.

      • anonymous

        It doesn’t matter about the 10 thousand who he did not hurt.

        It matters about the four he did.

        Why didn’t he stop when he was warned at work?

        He did hurt people, some people. He made them uncomfortable.

        I am actually posting FOR Fred, because I am hoping he will understand you cannot hug people without their permission.

        If you want to keep a job.

  • Barbara Plecas

    This is a sad, sad situation anyway you look at it. Sad for this Fred if he is truly innocent and his hugs had no sexual intent whatsoever. Sad for the victims that believe they have been violated but now have become the criminal in the communities eyes. Worse yet it is a sad community that has judged both parties without knowing the facts. People are boycotting Plumbs for it’s actions, I think you should look in the mirror first!!!!!!

  • Dave

    I hugged over 2 dozen people today not one said I inappropriately touched them. I must be doing something wrong Incredulous get a life. You have something personal going on with this topic.

  • Windi Warren Andrews

    I worked with Fred for many years and I have never known him to just hug a random stranger without asking. That being said, Fred has worked in Whitehall for 39 years so there aren’t many who are strangers to him, but those who are and seem to be sad or blue he may ask if they need a hug and offer to give them one. Those he already know he may just hug as he has many times in the past.. I understand the “victims” feel violated and embarrassed but let’s put this is some sort of prespective. The victim was fully clothed, in a public place, in full view of others and in no real danger at any time. So yes there was a level fear and a feeling of being uncomfortable maybe but to ruin a man’s life? To have him arrested, fired, possibly jailed, termed a sex offender and dragged thru the mud, take away his pension, and break his heart… that’s fair??? What if his hand did brush the lady’s butt?? What if she had allowed the hugs 12 other times but on this 13th time as he was pulling his arm off her shoulder on accident his hand hit her butt?? Because of one small brush of a hand over what at least 2 layers of fabric he’s the equivalent of a rapist now?? I’m sorry, that’s just not fair. Fred is and always had been a good man. He’s child like I won’t call him challenged, I’ll call him blessed, blessed to be able to see the good in everyone and I know this is breaking his heart because I know he never could have imagined this happening to him, he never would have even dreamed someone would do this to him or that the company he dedicated his life to would leave him high and dry. I’m sorry Fred. God bless. Hugs to you ❤

    • Kerry

      I don’t care if Fred is a former coworker of yours, family member or close personal friend. If Fred’s life is ruined then it’s by his own doing. He was warned REPEATEDLY to stop touching people, he chose to ignore the warnings and now has to pay the consequences. It doesn’t matter if it was in a public location, nobody should ever have to feel uncomfortable because they are being touched when they don’t want to be. And the fact that YOU think it’s ok to touch people without their permission is a bit disturbing.

  • Diana

    Physical contact should not be allowed at any place of business. The company I work for has this policy in place. The liability is too great. If Fred wants to hug people he should do it outside of a business setting. Church, home, with friends at a cook out, etc.

  • MikchLAK

    why is it always the fattest, slothiest, nastiest looking “women” who try to cash in on these sexual harassment claims?!?!? no one wants to touch your skanky body, so just relax, slore!!

  • Arnoldr

    There used to be a time when things like this would be handled by the two parties involved. If you don’t care to be hugged, just tell him to bug off, There’s no need to call the officials in on every offense. Gads, we’ve become so sensitive, it’s getting to the point where one dare not even smile at another customer.

  • anonymous

    I just posted this on an other article with regard to this issue.

    This is the first I have heard that Fred suffered from a disability.

    I feel really bad for him because he needed the services of a job coach or for his community to explain to him that it is only alright to hug or touch people with their consent or permission.

    TO just do as you want, and disregard the feelings of others is not okay.

    This needed to happen when he was disciplined the first time and given a final warning.

    He needed to be taught this.

    It is really sad.
    **********
    I decided to post this anonymously due to all the “caring” haters who cannot accept or be respectful of another’s point of view.

    Let alone their right to feel and be safe from unwanted touching or attention.

    Several people have come forward to say they felt uncomfortable. What about them?

    Only certain people in that town count?

    He was reprimanded for inappropriate touching in the past.

    People who violate others continually and then still stand by their own views that they have the right, perhaps do need a judge to express upon them that touching another without their consent is a crime.

    It is about violating boundaries. We do not walk into another’s home without PERMISSION. We do not touch others without PERMISSION.

    It happened more than once.

    He was warned.

    He should not be working with the public if he does not understand appropriate behavior.