Three Florida Walmart employees were charged with manslaughter on Thursday for an altercation which ended with the death of an alleged shoplifter.
WSB-TV Atlanta reports that 35-year-old Nathan Allen Higgins, 23-year-old Crucelis Nunez, and 58-year-old Randall Eugene Tomko (pictured left to right) were charged for the alleged February 7 attack on Kenneth E. Wisham.
Wisham is believed to have attempted to steal $380.74 worth of DVDs from the Lakeland Walmart when the trio chased him down. According to FOX News, the employees held him on the ground after he fell and restrained him, after which he stopped breathing. An autopsy showed the 64-year-old died of mechanical asphyxiation and sustained 15 broken ribs from the fatal incident.
Authorities claimed employees attempted life-saving measures after Wishman stopped breathing. An arrest report stated Nunez told investigators that the victim yelled “Let me up!” and “I can’t breathe!” the Huffington Post reports. Though Nunez also told authorities she “nudged” Wisham as he fell, a witness said they saw the 23-year-old knock him to the ground and punch him.
Nunez was a customer service manager, Higgins was a support manager, and Tomko worked in loss prevention. Walmart spokesman Charles Crowson stated in an email that all three were suspended and their employment is under review.
Walmart issued the following statement to WFTS-TV about the episode:
Our hearts go out to everyone affected by these events. The status of the associates involved continues to be reviewed. We’ll continue working with law enforcement officials, as we have from the beginning, while conducting our own review.
Photo: Lakeland Police Department