Chang Ho Yi, liquor store owner, sued by shoplifter he shot in the face
At first blush, the lawsuit filed by Bryson Dewberry against Colorado Springs liquor store owner Chang Ho Yi seems patently absurd. After all, Dewberry's complaint faults Yi for shooting him in the face after he shoplifted a bottle of booze -- an action for which the owner was not charged.
Big photos below.
But the story is more complicated than that.
The details of the incident, which took place on October 25, 2010, at Austin Bluffs Plaza Liquor in the Springs, are laid out by the Colorado Springs Gazette.
According to the suit cited by the paper, Dewberry snatched some vodka and ran to car parked nearby. Yi took off after him, armed with a .357 revolver, and opened fire, striking Dewberry as he sat in the backseat of the vehicle. The bullet traced a path from his torso to his jaw before blowing a hole through his cheek. At the time, cops said the bullet eventually wound up in the leg of a passenger, age seventeen.
Afterward, Yi didn't report the shooting: The police only learned about it after Dewberry and the teenager showed up at an area hospital and told their side of the tale. And when investigators quizzed Yi, the Gazette reports, he claimed not to know anything about such an incident and insisted that he couldn't have taken part in it anyhow, since he didn't have a gun.
Austin Bluffs Plaza Liquors.
That both of these claims were false no doubt contributed to Yi's arrest on an attempted murder charge -- because the state's Make My Day law permits business owners and homeowners to shoot in self-defense, but not if they're under no personal threat and are simply protecting their property. Once the facts of the case were shared with a grand jury, though, the El Paso District Attorney's Office decided against charging him, presumably because of the difficulty involved in winning a conviction under such muddy circumstances.
Continue for more about Bryson Dewberry's lawsuit, including photos.