Yet another young man’s life cut short because citizens took matters into their own hands…
Family, friends and a local community are in an uproar over the questionable death of 16-year-old Corey Stingley.
According to a combination of police reports and witness recounts, a group of customers forcefully “restrained” Corey during a citizen’s arrest when they suspected him of shoplifting and he later died due to suffering major brain damage allegedly caused by the methods of restraint used during the citizens arrest.
The Journal Sentinel reports:
Acting West Allis Police Chief Charles Padgett gave this account based on witness interviews and reports by the officers:
The three adult male customers confronted Stingley inside the store after Stingley reportedly attempted to put several alcohol items in a school backpack.
A “tussle” broke out, with Stingley resisting the men, and the confrontation continued outside. Surveillance video cameras captured the incident inside the store but not outside.
West Allis police were called at some point, and officers were surprised to arrive at the shoplifting call about 4 p.m. to find Stingley being restrained by the trio.
Officers initially handcuffed the teen but removed the cuffs and began CPR after realizing he was not breathing, Padgett said.
After police and fire personnel revived him, Stingley was transported to Froedtert, where he was on life-support equipment until his death on Saturday.
Investigators are still sorting out the exact sequence of events inside the store. At one point it appears Stingley returned the items to the store clerk’s counter after being confronted, Padgett said.
Padgett declined to talk about what method of restraint was used by the men, citing the ongoing investigation.
People have the right to make a citizen’s arrest in such a situation and can restrain a suspect, but they have to be aware of what impact their actions are having, Padgett said.
“There is a line you can’t cross,” he said, emphasizing that he does not know whether that line was crossed.
The Milwaukee County medical examiner’s office would not release its report on the death, at the request of the West Allis police. A spokeswoman said an autopsy had been completed but no cause of death had yet been determined.
Something definitely sounds shady here. What a sad and tragic way for this young man to die. While shoplifting certainly warrants consequences, this situation should have been handled much differently and a death should have never occurred.
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