IL Rep. seeks special prosecutor to review 2010 shoplifting death

By Arturo Garcia
Saturday, January 19, 2013 21:24 EDT
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Special prosecutor requested in 2010 death of homeless thief Anthony Kyser
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An Illinois lawmaker is calling for a special prosecutor to review the 2010 death of a homeless man following the release of footage of his fatal encounter with a Chicago store owner.

WLS-TV reported on Friday that Rep. Bobby Rush (D-IL) wants to review the circumstances behind the death of Anthony Kyser, who died in an altercation after allegedly stealing toothpaste from a local CVS store on May 8, 2010.

Rush is calling for the case to be reopened after watching footage released by DNAinfo.com Chicago on Friday (Warning: Graphic footage) of Kyser’s fatal encounter with the store manager.

“This videotape … presents an undeniable moment where [his] life was snatched from him,” Rush said. “Thank God for the videotape.”

At the time, The Cook County Medical Examiner’s Office determined that Kyser’s death was a homicide. But the Chicago Police Department did not pursue a criminal case, saying its investigation determined it to be accidental.

However, Kyser’s mother, Ann Marie Kyser, filed a lawsuit saying that the company is liable and accusing the manager, identified in court documents as Pedro Villanova, of battery. According to court documents, CVS attorneys have argued that Villanova was acting in self defense after Kyser punched him in the face.

The footage shows Villanova catching up to Kyser then engaging in a brief struggle before Kyser tries to get away. Villanova then takes Kyser to the ground and gets on top of him while an unidentified man kicks and punches Kyser as he struggles. Three more bystanders arrive, with two of them holding Kyser down while the other one appears to grab the toothpaste.

As more people arrive on the scene, Kyser eventually stops moving. The video later shows police arriving and talking to witnesses while he remains immobile. No one is seen checking on his condition.

Watch WLS’ report on the case, aired Jan. 18, 2013, below.

And watch the surveillance video, also released by DNA Info.com Chicago on Jan. 18, below. Warning: Graphic content.

Arturo Garcia
Arturo Garcia
Arturo R. García is the managing editor at Racialicious.com. He is based in San Diego, California and has written for both print and broadcast media, including contributions to GlobalComment.com, The Root and Comment Is Free. Follow him on Twitter at @ABoyNamedArt
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