Several Wal-Mart employees in Atascocita, Texas, chased a suspected shoplifter from the store and held him down on the burning pavement until he died.
Stacy Clay Driver, 30, of Cleveland, was pronounced dead Sunday at Northeast Medical Center Hospital.
When Atascocita Volunteer Fire Department paramedics arrived, Driver was in cardiac arrest, said Royce Worrell, EMS director. Worrell said Monday he heard from investigators that Wal-Mart employees administered CPR to Driver, but he was not sure that happened.
“When we got there, the man was facedown (in cardiac arrest) with handcuffs behind his back,” Worrell said. “That’s not indicative of someone given CPR.”
Houston lawyer Charles Portz was outside the store at 6626 FM 1960 East when employees chased Driver into the parking lot Sunday afternoon.
Portz said three employees caught Driver, who twisted and turned until his shirt came off and he broke free and ran.
“They chased him right past me,” said Portz, who followed the chase, then saw four or five employees hold Driver on the ground. Driver was pleading with them to let him up, Portz said. “The blacktop was just blistering,” he said.
The high temperature at Bush Intercontinental Airport Sunday was 96 degrees.
Portz said one of the Wal-Mart employees had Driver in a choke hold as other employees pinned his body to the ground.
“He was begging, ‘Please, I’m burning, let me up,’” Portz said of Driver. “He’d push himself up off the blacktop, like he was doing a push-up.
“About 30 people were saying, ‘Let him up, it’s too hot,’” Portz said. He said another employee brought a rug for Driver to lie on, but one of those holding Driver said he was fine where he was. “After about five minutes, (Driver) said, ‘I’m dying, I can’t breathe, call an ambulance,’” Portz said. — Houston Chronicle
Sheriff’s detectives are awaiting the autopsy report before deciding whether to file charges. And Driver’s family and lawyer deny that he had been shoplifting.
Received via Hammer of Truth, who said, “Always dead shoplifters. Always.”