PLEASANT HILL (KPIX 5) — A dispute over a disabled parking spot in a Target parking lot ended violently as a man in a wheelchair was thrown to the floor earlier this month.
The entire incident was caught on surveillance video.
The victim, 52-year-old Philip Kinstler, says he approached a woman in a car in the store’s parking lot and lightly tapped on her window. According to Kinstler, he just wanted to point out that she was in a disabled spot since he didn’t see any placards on her vehicle. That encounter then fueled a violent assault inside the Target store.
“I was scared. I’ve never been that scared in my entire life,” Kinstler said.
He was just making a run to Target to return a shirt. He never thought the parking lot encounter would lead to getting tossed out of his wheel chair.
Kinstler watched for the first time with KPIX the surveillance video of the incident, which happened on January 11. Kinstler says a man, identified by authorities as 32-year-old Jimmie Tiger, approached him in the store, saying he wanted him to come out and apologize to his wife.
Raw Video: Man In Wheelchair Dumped On Ground At Pleasant Hill Target
“I think they were going to take me out and both were going to work on me,” Kinstler said.
Instead, Kinstler was thrown off his wheelchair and tried to brace the fall with his left arm. The incident inside the store lasted just about a minute and a half. Kinstler feared for his life was surprised him that nobody came to help.
“The thing that hurt me the most is that people just stood there. They did nothing. All they had to do is stand in front of my wheelchair,” he said.
Kinstler has been in a wheelchair for roughly 30 years. He depends on both arms to maintain his independent lifestyle. With a broken wrist, his life may now be changed forever.
“I was just thinking, this guy knew exactly what to do to destroy me because without my wrist, no family, maybe nursing home and no guitar.”
Police said witnesses tended to the victim, who was injured and received medical attention. Detectives were given a partial license plate number for Tiger’s vehicle, and later identified the car and their suspect.
Pleasant Hill detectives presented the case to the Contra Costa County District Attorney’s Office, and on Jan. 17 charges of attempted kidnapping and assault by means likely to produce great bodily injury were filed and an arrest warrant was issued.
Two days later, Tiger was arrested in San Ramon by San Ramon police officers and taken to the Martinez Detention Facility on charges of assault and kidnapping. He has since posted bond.