Three Walmart employees have been arrested and charged with manslaughter in the death of a shoplifter who stole $380 worth of DVDs.
Kenneth Wisham, 64, was confronted by employees at a Lakeland, Florida, Walmart and tried to get away by running, according to Fox 13 Tampa. The employees gave chase and detained Wisham after they claim he was about to fall to the ground.
While being held, Wishan stopped breathing. He was taken to a hospital, where he died and the Lakeland Police Department said the coroner ruled the death was from mechanical asphyxia and Wishan suffered 15 broken ribs.
According to a police affidavit, a witness said she saw one of the employees, Crucelis Nunez, a customer service manager, knock Wisham to the ground and then beat him with her fists, Fox News reported.
Nunez, 23, told the police she “nudged” Wisham as he was about to fall, though she said he later told them, “I can’t breathe.”
Walmart suspended Nunez, support manager Nathan Higgins, 35, and loss prevention employee Ruandall Tooko, 58.
The retail giant released a statement saying, “Our hearts go out to everyone affected by these events. The status of the associates involved continues to be reviewed. We’ll continue working with law enforcement officials, as we have from the beginning, while conducting our own review.”
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