Sunday, July 24th, 2016

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Leaked Video: CVS Manager Chokes Shoplifter to Death

More than two years after 35-year-old Anthony Kyser was choked to death by a CVS store manager, surveillance footage capturing the incident has been leaked to the public. released the video showing Kyser being choked on the ground by the store manager, while several others held him down. Kyser allegedly stole a tube of toothpaste from the store, and was homeless at the time. Police, who had access to the footage, ruled the death an accident in 2010.

“The video was reviewed by detectives as part of their investigation at the time,” Chicago police department spokeswoman Lt. Maureen Biggane said, according to DNAinfo. “It was determined that criminal charges were not warranted.” The Cook County medical examiner’s office ruled the death a homicide, contradicting the police report.

Kyser’s family members filed a civil lawsuit against CVS and the manager. CVS has declined to comment on the ongoing case. U.S. Rep. Bobby Rush of Chicago called for criminal charges to be filed shortly after Kyser’s death, and hopes that the release of the video can lead to a new special investigation.

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

DNAinfo identified the manager as Pedro Villanova based on court records. Villanova maintained that he acted in self-defense after Kyser punched him, and originally only intended to retrieve the stolen merchandise.

According to court documents, Villanova admitted to holding his arm against Kyser’s throat, and to hearing the man say, “I can’t breathe.”

The civil case against Villanova and CVS is pending in Cook County Circuit Court, where Kyser’s mother is represented by the Cochran, Cherry, Givens, Smith & Montgomery law firm.

*Warning* Graphic Content

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  1. Joe Kelsall says:

    A disgraceful video! The victim was capable of being resuscitated and not 1 person tried. The cop should have made some attempt, instead of walkig around like Dirty Harry. Thank God I don't live in the USA.

  2. I don't recall seeing anything about this in the chicago area papers. I had to read this from an atlanta source. the police should also be sued for refusing to charge the manager in something so obviously criminal, you would have to be in an alternate state of mind to not see this. there are laws on the book. use them.


    • Managers and employees (& customers) of CVS in my community are plagued by petty shop lifters. In the mindless anger of frustrated confrontation in attempting to "do something" about shrinkage, primarily by the homeless, drug addicts, drunks and mentally unstable shop lifters, this would be an accident. CVS needs a policy in place for unsolicited charity; after first attempting to stop the ceaseless stealing.
      The accident, to my mind, was unavoidable.

  4. Brenda Jefferson says:

    This animal should be charged with 1st degree murder. It is obvious that he was trying to kill this man! He stayed on him and the accomplices should be tried as well for holding this man down. What a disgrace. Karma is a b…..

  5. He had dropped the toothpaste when the manager first approached him, so if he was just trying to retrieve the toothpaste why did he need to continue to choke him. You can see one of the other guys pick the toothpaste up. It is apparent the he used deadly force for no real reason. He should have been charged and the police should be sued for their lack of investigating the matter.

  6. looks like excessive force if u ask me I don't see the guy resisting much CHARGES should have been brought.

  7. …for a tube of toothpaste, what are we coming to?

  8. Anonymous says:

    You guys don't know the real story. The manager is my cousin and he's not an animal. The guy had more than 1 tube of toothpaste. He had several items and came into the store on a regular basis stealing. Peter finally got tired of it and decided to persue him. He didn't intend on hurting that man. The police didn't file charges because he didn't choke the man to death the guy had a freaking heart attack.

  9. Anonymous says:

    You guys can sit on here and pass judgement if you want too. The store manager is my cousin and got tired of that man coming into the store stealing. The press wants you to believe it was 1 tube of toothpaste, when it was actually several items. There weren't any charges brought against him because the man had a freaking heart attack, he wasn't choked to death. My cousin is a good man and a father of 4 and was completely broken up about this after it happened. So stop judging based on one side of the story.

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