Is This Really What We Are Coming To?!?
Homeless Man Choked To Death By Store Manager For Stealing Toothpaste
CVS - the once thought of drug and convenience store will now be known as the store that defends its manager's rights to kill shoplifters...even those that are caught taking a single tube of toothpaste. Death for toothpaste. Would anyone ever exchange $5.00 toothpaste tube for their life?
This incident occurred in Chicago back in 2010. A homeless man, Anthony Kyser was choked to death after a pharmacy manager chased him out of a CVS store for stealing toothpaste....and today, the chilling video of the incident has surfaced.
The grainy surveillance video from the alley near the Little Village CVS was obtained from a source by DNAinfo.com Chicago. The video shows Kyser being surrounded by the CVS manager and several other people who were helping the manager hit, kick, and pile on top of the already subdued man.
Charges were never brought up against Pedro as the police originally stated, "The video was reviewed by detectives as part of their investigation at the time," Chicago Police Department spokeswoman Lt. Maureen Biggane said. "It was determined that criminal charges were not warranted."
Hmmm... a man steals a tube of toothpaste, he's killed, and that doesn't warrant further investigation or charges?
Anthony Kyser was a 35-year old homeless man who had a family, and that family is seeking some justice. Anthony's mother, Ann Marie Kyser, filed a lawsuit claiming the store manager committed battery and that CVS is liable. That case is still pending in Cook County Circuit Court, with an outcome not likely to make anyone happy.
Jack Kennedy, an attorney with Cochran, Cherry, Givens, Smith & Montgomery, the law firm representing Kyser's mother said:
I think it's appalling that CVS maintains that an employee can choke someone to death if they steal from a CVS store.
A CVS spokesman would only tell DNAinfo.com that the company does not comment on pending litigation.
However,through his attorney, Villanova acknowledges he "held onto Anthony Kyser on the ground while defending himself after being struck," according to court records. The video shows no strike to Pedro.
In court filings, Villanova acknowledges his "arm came into contact with decedent Anthony Kyser's throat" and he heard Kyser say "I can't breathe."
Soon after Kyser's death, an outraged U.S. Rep. Bobby Rush, a Chicago Democrat, sent a letter to Cook County State's Attorney Anita Alvarez demanding action for the "brutality visited upon a homeless man."
Rush now says his "calls for justice" were not heeded. Now, after being shown the video by DNAinfo.com, he said he hopes its release will reopen the investigation.
Watch the surveillance video below:
Now, I am not saying that it's okay for anyone to steal...and this man should have been punished accordingly. But I don't think that stealing toothpaste warrants the punishment that he ended up receiving. I am shocked that anyone would say that this video is proof of self defense. What this video shows is a total lack of respect for this man's life. When did toothpaste become more valuable than anyone's life? This video is representative of how ugly human being are becoming. People stood around and watched this person being murdered and did nothing to save his life. That's just sad.