Family wants charges against employees accused of killing alleged shoplifter
The family of an accused Flatbush Avenue Stop & Shop shoplifter who died after witnesses say store workers wrangled him to the ground over the weekend, called on the Brooklyn district attorney to press manslaughter charges on Wednesday.
Ralph Nimmons, 51, was allegedly pushed to the ground and crushed by three store employees on Saturday morning after they saw him stealing items. Witnesses said Nimmons cried out that he couldn’t breathe and had heart problems, according to his family’s attorney Scott Rynecki.
“This should not have gone to the level it did,” Rynecki said. “No one deserves to die simply for being alleged to have shoplifted.”
Nimmons was unconcious on the floor when police arrived around 7:30 a.m., police said. He was rushed to Kings County Hospital, where he died. None of the employees was arrested.
Rynecki and Nimmons’ aunt and uncle met Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez to call on him to charge the workers.
“This matter is under active investigation,” a spokesman for the DA’s Office said, but wouldn’t elaborate further.
Family members said they were confident the investigation would be thorough, but they shared they were blindsided when they heard the news.
“I was very angry, hurt and upset and in shock,” said uncle Bonezelee Nimmons. “My nephew was a good person, he wouldn’t hurt a fly.”
There has not yet been a cause of death released, pending the Medical Examiner’s report.
Another shopper identified the Stop & Shop employees as the manager, assistant manager and a produce worker, the New York Post reported. When asked multiple times if the workers had been disciplined since the incident, a store spokesman did not respond.
“We are saddened by the death that occurred at our Flatbush Avenue store on Saturday. Our deepest sympathies go out to the family,” said Stop & Shop spokesman Philip Tracey. “We continue to cooperate with law enforcement officials to ensure that the facts pertaining to this incident are fully and accurately determined.”
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