crimesider

Alleged shoplifter sues Colo. store owner who shot him

Austin Bluffs Plaza Liquors in Colorado Springs, Colo.; the owner is being sued by the accused shoplifter he shot.
CBS Denver
(CBS) COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - In October 2010, Bryson Dewberry was suspected of stealing a bottle of vodka from a liquor store. The Colorado Springs store owner reportedly chased Dewberry out of the store and shot him in the jaw with a handgun.

Potential charges against the shopkeeper were dropped. Dewberry, the accused thief, is suing him for over $100,000, CBS Denver reported.

The lawyer for Dewberry, a 22-year-old musician, says his client's life "has been shattered."

The lawsuit was filed after prosecutors dropped charges against the owner of Austin Bluffs Plaza Liquors, Chang Ho Yi. Two separate reviews failed to charge Yi for his actions.

Dewberry was also never charged with shoplifting.

"Even if those allegations are true, what we're talking about is a shopkeeper who was so reckless that he takes it not one step too far, but 10 steps too far," Dewberry's attorney, David McDivitt, told CBS Denver.

Another man was also hit in the shooting.

McDivitt said Dewberry has extensive medical bills and was unable to continue with a music career he was pursuing.

"He had a life. A lot of that was shattered because of the reckless conduct on the part of this guy brandishing a heavy-duty revolver," McDivitt said.

The case fell outside of the purview of Colorado's so-called Make My Day law.

"People have a right to own a firearm and defend themselves, but where do they draw the line? Where do they go too far? When do they become so reckless that their actions endanger the lives of others in a way that is unfair to anybody," McDivitt said.

Yi's attorney told the Colorado Springs Gazette that his client fired his weapon because he was disoriented from being struck in the head during the incident.

That detail was never told to police during their investigation.

  • Barry Leibowitz

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