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Shoplifting Suspect Dies After Scuffle With Brooklyn Store Staffers, Witnesses Say

April 15, 2018 - 11:51 am

NEW YORK (WCBS 880) -- A man stopped for shoplifting by supermarket employees in Brooklyn ended up dead this weekend.

It happened around 7:30 a.m. Saturday at a Stop & Shop on Flatbush Avenue near Albemarle Road in Prospect Park South, police said.

“The guy was coming out with some stuff, and they all rushed him, and he dropped the stuff, and he said to them, ‘You have the stuff, let me go.’ And the lady manager was like, ‘you’re not effing going anywhere,’” a shopper who asked to remain anonymous told CBS2. “They were tussling with him. All the cookies dropped, all the stuff dropped, and they finally got him to the ground and they was all three of them sitting on top of him…. Two of the managers and a store worker.”

The witness said the suspect said he had a heart problem. Another witness said a shopper and a “heavy girl” were sitting on the man.

Jacene McDonald was in the store at the time, and said she saw the employees sitting on the suspect. McDonald said a female bystander stepped in and offered to pay for whatever the suspect stole.

“She asks: ‘What’s going on? What happened? He stole something?’ He’s like, ‘I didn’t do nothing.’ And she pulled out her money to pay for whatever they said he stole,” she said. “But they wouldn’t take her money… so they wrestled him and he wasn’t trying to be held. He was trying to get out.”

Police said when officers arrived, they found the man lying on the floor unconscious and unresponsive, and called EMS.

The FDNY said the man -- identified as Ralph Nimmons, 51 -- went into cardiac arrest. He was pronounced dead at NYC Health + Hospitals/Kings County just after 8 a.m., CBS2 reported.

Stop & Shop released a statement reading, “We are working closely with the New York City Police Department to help them determine the facts and to provide any information we have to assist in their investigation.”