California, USA — A friendly reminder turns into a violent assault to a wheelchair user by an able-bodied couple at a Target store in California.
According to police, wheelchair user Philip Kinstler rode into the Target parking lot last January 11. Upon arriving, he spotted a black SUV illegally parked in an accessible spot and decided to say something.
The 52-year-old got out of his accessible van and tapped on her window to confront her about the spot. “I thought I would ask her kindly if they could not park there again, in a handicapped spot,” Philip said.
Philip then went inside the Target store to return a shirt. However, Jimmie Tiger, the lady’s boyfriend, decided to follow Philip into Target.
Moreover, Jimmie then demanded the 52-year-old to apologize for “scaring” her. When Philip refused to leave the store, the situation quickly escalated into violence. As seen on the CCTV footage of the store, the suspect tried to roll his wheelchair out to the parking lot to force the apology.
More disturbingly, Jimmie violently lifted the victim’s wheelchair from the side, causing the victim to fall out.
“I went out of the chair like I was in a car accident,” Kinstler recounts. “I fell like a rag doll on top of my wrist.”
The assault left Philip with a broken wrist, which is now greatly affecting his ability to live independently. After being paralyzed from mid-chest down, he depends on his hands to transfer himself from the wheelchair to his bed. For the last 30 years, Philip is able to mobilize because of his hands. Now, he’s confined to his bed from 6pm until the next morning when a nurse comes to help him.
“I was in shock,” he said. “I looked down at my wrist, and it was all askew, and then the pain hit and I thought, my life is over.”
Police have apprehended the 32-year-old attacker under an arrest warrant for attempted kidnapping, assault by means likely to produce great bodily injury and a special allegation of great bodily injury.
Meanwhile, Jimmie has pleaded not guilty to the charges and has been released on $180,000 bail.