NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A security guard in Queens was caught on camera restraining a man inside a Rite Aid before violently dragging him out onto the sidewalk nearby.
The guard then put the man in a headlock and slammed him into a nearby garbage can on his way out of the store. CBS2’s Marc Liverman happened to be in the store at the time of the incident, and heard the man screaming out in pain and begging the undercover security guard to let him go.
The physical altercation didn’t end there. The man was then dragged onto the sidewalk by his neck, struggling to get away and unable to free himself from the security guard’s grip. Other shoppers at the store on 30th Avenue in Astoria say the man may have been shoplifting, but Rite Aid hasn’t confirmed that claim.
Police did confirm they responded to reports of petit larceny at the location that day, but they haven’t released a description of the suspect. Residents in the area can’t help but wonder if the security guard went too far.
“Even if he’s shoplifting, I don’t think that someone should be subjected to that type of cruelty,” Mary Ann Testa said.
“It’s violent and people shouldn’t handle people like that,” Noreen Caraher said.
Others felt if the man was indeed stealing, then the guard had every right to act the way he did.
“You do the crime, you do the time,” Michael Elder said. “The security guard is just doing his job.”
CBS2’s Liverman went back to the store on Tuesday to get their side of the story, but was told the issue was being handled by the chain’s corporate office. Representatives from Rite Aid say they’ve seen the video, and are actively investigating the incident. They add they’ll take appropriate action based on their findings.