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Man Dumped From Wheelchair in Dispute Over Parking Space

Philip Kinstler, who is paralyzed, says his wrist was broken
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 31, 2020 11:25 AM CST

(Newser) – A California man is facing charges of attempted kidnapping and assault after a Target customer was dumped out of his wheelchair. Philip Kinstler, who has used a wheelchair for 30 years, arrived at the Pleasant Hill store on Jan. 11 to find a vehicle parked in a disabled spot without a permit, reports KPIX. The 52-year-old says he tapped on the window of the vehicle to notify a female occupant before heading into the store to return a shirt. He was at the customer service desk when he was approached by a man police identified as Jimmie Tiger. Kinstler says the man demanded he return to the lot to apologize for having scared his partner, per the Washington Post. Surveillance video shows the man speaking to Kinstler for a minute before wheeling him away from the counter. As Kinstler grabs a sign, the man flips him out of his chair, then walks away.

Arrested more than a week later, 32-year-old Tiger pleaded not guilty to attempted kidnapping and assault by means likely to produce great bodily injury and was released on $180,000 bail, per Newsweek. Police said community members worked with law enforcement "to find a quick resolution." But Kinstler, paralyzed from the chest down due to a rare degenerative disease called syringomyelia, says he was amazed that no one intervened. "All they had to do is stand in front of my wheelchair" but "they did nothing," he tells KPIX, adding he's "never been that scared." He tells the Post that he broke his wrist in the fall, leaving him unable to drive or get out of bed by himself. Two people followed Kinstler and his assailant, per the San Francisco Chronicle. Police say witnesses also cared for Kinstler until police arrived, and submitted a partial license plate. (Read more assault stories.)

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