CHARLOTTE, N.C.,None — A Charlotte man was arrested at the Alive After Five event last week, and he said it was all because of the way he was wearing his hat.
Phillip Agnew called it a case of racial discrimination.
The incident happened last Thursday at the EpiCentre and Agnew said he was singled out of a crowd of hundreds -- all because he had his hat on backwards.
"They didn't tell me they were going to arrest me. I got that realization when they put the handcuffs on me," Agnew said. "I was in a group of people and a security guard approached me and asked me to turn around my hat."
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When Agnew refused, he said guards called police who arrested him for misdemeanor trespassing.
"They escorted me out in handcuffs from the third floor, took me to the valet and processed me and took me to jail," he said.
WATCH: Man Arrested At EpiCentre After Violating Dress Code
There is a dress code posted in the Pavillion at Epicentre. The sign clearly states "hats turned backward aren't allowed."
But Agnew said the policy is selectively enforced.
"I think it's a case of blatant discrimination but if you make a policy against suits and ties, and I know a certain group of people always wears suits and ties, then the people in the suits and ties start to feel after a while maybe it's personal," he said.
Tuesday afternoon, two men were spotted leaving the EpiCenter. Both men were wearing hats and both said they were not approached by officials to remove them or turn them to the front.
Police said they don't condone any kind of discrimination but they have to enforce the law.
"Once he refused to leave, we have to honor the owner's right to have him leave the property," said Capt. Jeff Estes.
Management at the EpiCentre have not returned calls about the dress code policy.
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