Police: Surveillance shows Upper Darby store owner victimizing teens with Taser

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April 18, 2014 8:40:49 PM PDT
While surveillance video appears to show a man using a stun gun to protect his Upper Darby store, police say that is not at all what happened.

According to authorities, the teens he targeted were blatantly victimized.

Upper Darby Police say 14-year-old Hezakye York's hands were up and he was backing away when the owner of Dollar World zapped him with a stun gun several times.

"For you to try to use that on me - like really I'm an animal? That's how you see me? Not as a person? That's how I felt," York said.

The teen and his friend, 15-year-old Nasir Edwards, say they were in the West Chester Pike store Wednesday picking up some pasta for Nasir's mother.

Hezakye picked up an item he couldn't afford, but put it back in the wrong place. He says the owner immediately accused them of shoplifting.

"When he's coming at me, my thought was can somebody help me. It's all citizens in there," York said.

"My friend was running. I was trying to get (the owner) to calm down. I was like the only person in the store who was trying to get him to calm down. That night I was real angry and right now I just don't understand it all. I'm not sure how to feel," Edwards said.

The Upper Darby High 9th graders say as they ran out the store the 42-year-old owner You Yang pulled out a handgun and threatened to shoot them.

Police responded and arrested Yang, confiscating his legally owned shotgun and 9mm.

"I could see people wanting to defend their property, but in this case, the store owner was 100% wrong," Upper Darby Police Superintendent Michael Chitwood said.

One look at Yang's storefront and customers can see he's aggressive about catching suspected shoplifters. Yang posts surveillance images on the doors and windows.

But now Yang is the one in trouble.

"Boys are going to stores all over and this is happening and it's like more and more you see outrageous stories in the news where people believe it or not are not even phased by it anymore, I want people to be phased by this," York's mother Viola Bell said.

Hezakye, who only suffered a couple of Taser marks, on his arm says there's a reason he spoke up.

"What would he do to the next person? He could really harm that person when he did nothing wrong," York said.

As you would expect, the young men say they don't plan to ever walk into the Dollar World store again.

The owner is free on bail.

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