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August 20, 2010
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Video: Guard suspended for tackling deaf shoplifting suspect

The deaf suspect walked out as a security guard yelled for him to stop, and then the guard tackled him

By PoliceOne Staff

Los Angeles — Alejandro Rea is deaf, which is why he didn’t react to an alarm that sounded when he walked out of a Forever 21 department store. He continued on as a security guard yelled for him to stop, and then the guard tackled him and placed him in a choke hold.

Meanwhile, dozens of people stood by, one of them capturing the incident on his cell phone. The man’s brother, Pablo, who is also hearing impaired, can be trying to stop the security guard.

“I can see my brother saying he couldn't communicate," he told CNN through an interpreter. "It was like an immediate attack and my brother went limp and then he got in a choke-hold and became purple."

Rea’s lawyer is threatening to sue Forever 21, which acknowledged the controversy in a news release: "We recognize that the security guard used excessive force, which is against our store policy and have suspended him indefinitely.”

Alejandro Rea has been in jail since his August 7 arrest. His court date is August 24, and he hasn't paid his $56,000 bond. He faces felony second-degree robbery because of his alleged violent resistance to the security guard and a prior arrest.

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